|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
FOUR PEOPLE CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four people are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases stretching from Waynesboro to Surgoinsville, Tennessee. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the four arrests, which all involve individuals obtaining prescription medications paid for by TennCare, with the intent of selling them.
The arrests include:
"Tennessee communities are simply no longer tolerating the fraudulent misuse of prescription drugs, especially when TennCare is involved,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "We are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies across the state to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes."
If convicted, all four could be sentenced up to two years for the TennCare fraud charge which is a class E felony. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms will be prosecuting the three Wayne cases and District Attorney General H. Greeley Wells, Jr. will be handling the Shelters’ case.
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 1,050 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."