|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE– A Dyer County woman is charged with using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 36-year old Shannon Forsythe, of Dyersburg, was charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud for using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions. The arrest was assisted by Dyersburg Police Department.
“In this case, local police and a quick-acting provider are to be credited with bringing this to our attention so we can take action for the taxpayers of the state,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We depend on local officials, as they usually encounter people committing TennCare fraud, and their cooperation is helping us wage war against this activity.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Phillip Bivens is prosecuting.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 800 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."