|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Warren County man is sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 48-year old Ivy A. Carter, Jr., of McMinnville pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining controlled substances by “doctor shopping” with TennCare benefits. He saw multiple physicians within a 30-day period, obtaining prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, not telling the providers about the activity.
Carter will serve 90-days in the Warren County jail, receiving supervised probation for the remainder of the two-year sentence. He must also make restitution to the state, and pay his fines and court costs. District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis prosecuted this case.
Carter was indicted in March 2010, when he was charged with three counts of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” He fled to Port Orange, Florida where he was arrested in June of this year and extradited back to Warren County to face the TennCare fraud charges.
“People who engage in using the TennCare program to ‘doctor shop’ will be tracked down to face those charges in court,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We will not tolerate anyone who abuses the TennCare program.”
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."