|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
DAVIDSON COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County man has been arrested for using TennCare to pay for a fraudulent prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Michael P. Looney, 26, of Nashville. Looney was apprehended by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department after an OIG Agent obtained a warrant for his arrest. Looney is accused of filling a forged prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone at a local pharmacy in Nashville, paying for the drug with TennCare. Looney faces one count of TennCare fraud.
"Our continuing mission is to help prevent fraud and abuse of the TennCare prescription drug program," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We will attempt to do so by vigorously prosecuting anyone who abuses or attempts to abuse the program."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III 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 820 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."