|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Davidson County woman is charged in Rutherford County in a warrant for using the TennCare benefits of another person to pay for a fraudulent prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Mary Rachel Carter, 31, of Nashville. Carter was arrested after a joint investigation with the Office of Inspector General, the LaVergne Police Department, and the 21st Judicial Drug Task Force.
The arrest warrant charges Carter with TennCare fraud, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and prescription fraud. She’s accused of calling in a prescription to a drug store in LaVergne to obtain the addictive painkiller Hydrocodone in the name of another TennCare enrollee.
“Local police as well as health care providers have joined us in the commitment to eliminate prescription drug abuse, “Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.” “The OIG is going after TennCare fraud and abuse aggressively and prosecute anyone caught participating in this illegal activity.”
If convicted, the TennCare fraud charge against Carter could result in a two-year sentence. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."