|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A fourth individual is charged with TennCare Fraud in a Dyer County undercover operation. The round-up of suspects started last week, with most charges involving prescription drug fraud. A total of 57 people were indicted.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the additional arrest of Misty Marie Buckner, 31, of Dyersburg. She is charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a Schedule II controlled substance.
Buckner is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Morphine at a Dyersburg pharmacy, later selling a portion of the drug to an undercover agent.
“It’s great to work with local officers who are committed to ending prescription drug fraud, and Dyersburg Police officers are going full force to eliminate this from their community,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Our focus in working with local officers is to keep this crime out of the TennCare program, preserving it for people with legitimate needs.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. Sale of a Scheduled II controlled substance is a Class C felony carrying a sentence of up to six years in prison. District Attorney General Phillip Bivens is prosecuting.
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, over 1,700 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."