|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Putnam County woman is charged in Davidson County for trying to fill a forged prescription and pay for it with TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Stephanie Arsenault, 46, of Cookeville. She was arrested after a joint investigation with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
An arrest warrant charges Arsenault with using a fraudulent prescription to try to obtain Tylox, a form of the painkiller Oxycodone, and the painkiller Ultram, also known as Tramadol, while trying to use TennCare to pay for it. The prescriptions were declined by the pharmacy once it was noted the handwriting did not match the original prescription. She’s been charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud and one count of identity theft. The physician whose name appeared on the prescription did not authorize the use of his name or DEA number to be used.
District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III will prosecute. If convicted, Arsenault could serve up to four years per charge for both the attempting to obtain a controlled substance and the identity theft charges which are Class D felonies and two years for the TennCare fraud charge, which is a Class E felony.
“This is a great example of a pharmacist that was alert to the tactics some people use to fraudulently obtain prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are delighted to have medical providers as partners in preventing TennCare fraud.”
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 1,300 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."