|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Lebanon woman is charged in a Wilson County indictment with TennCare fraud related to selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Brenda Faye Pinckley, 59, after a joint effort with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. Pinckley is charged with TennCare Fraud and Sale of a Schedule II drug. The indictment accuses Pinckley of using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to pay for the prescription pain medication Endocet, a brand of Oxycodone, later selling a portion of the prescription.
"Individuals who are selling drugs paid for with TennCare benefits, and those who buy them, must understand this is a serious crime the Office of Inspector General intends to prosecute,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Pharmacists, doctors and local police across the state are also committed to stopping this crime in their communities.”
District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony that carries up to a two year sentence. The delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C Felony with a possible sentence of three to six years per charge.
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."