|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
ROANE COUNTY PAIR CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A man and woman from Roane County are charged with TennCare fraud for obtaining prescription medications through TennCare with the intent of selling the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Wanda S. Hall, 63, of Harriman and Lonnie L. White, 47, of Kingston. Both arrests were assisted by the Roane County Sheriff’s Office.
Hall was charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for selling Morphine, a Schedule II controlled substance, to an undercover agent on two separate occasions. The drugs were paid for by TennCare.
White was charged with one count of TennCare fraud for selling the painkiller Endocet, which is the generic form of Oxycodone, to an under cover agent. TennCare paid for both the doctor’s visit and the prescription.
“The illegal trafficking of prescription drugs is a problem across the nation, and Tennessee is not immune to it,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Russell Johnson will prosecute both cases.
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 1,000 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."