|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Warren County man is charged with TennCare fraud for using the program to obtain prescription drugs which he later sold.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Charles Ray Burger, 43, of McMinnville. He was indicted on one count of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. Charges accuse Burger of presenting a prescription for the strong and addictive painkiller Morphine using TennCare to pay for the prescription, while planning to illegally sell a portion of the drug.
“Local officials and healthcare providers across the state are taking ownership of the prescription drug issue, helping us eliminate this program in TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Powerful prescription narcotics like morphine can be poison in the hands of someone who purchases it illegally.”
The TennCare fraud charges could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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, nearly 1,500 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."