|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Wilson County Grand Jury has charged a man with TennCare fraud related to allegedly selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Michael Shoemake, 41, of Lebanon. The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.
Shoemake was arrested on an indictment alleging that he sold the prescription drug Percocet, a form of the painkiller Oxycodone, which was purchased using TennCare. Shoemake has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud.
“TennCare benefits are there for people who need them, and by getting this abuse out of the program, we make it stronger for providing health care insurance to people who need it,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Drug fraud in TennCare 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 Tom P. Thompson, 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."