|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – After being on the run for nine months, a Carroll County man charged with TennCare fraud has turned himself in to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Robert A. Lusk, 25, of McKenzie. The McKenzie Police Department was instrumental in the investigation of this case.
The arrest warrant charges Lusk with two counts of sale of a schedule III controlled substance and one count of TennCare fraud. He’s accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller hydrocodone at a pharmacy in McKenzie on January 15, using TennCare to pay for the prescription. Three days later, he sold some of the medication to an informant and undercover police officer. Lusk committed TennCare fraud by fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits as well as a prescription paid for by TennCare and planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
“McKenzie police officers laid the groundwork for this case and asked for assistance, and that’s the kind of cooperation we’re building statewide,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Local officers are usually the first point of contact with some of those who are committing TennCare fraud, and they want to get it off the streets as badly as we do.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Lusk could result in a two year sentence. Possession of a schedule III controlled substance with intent to deliver is a class D felony punishable by two to four years in prison upon conviction. District Attorney General Hansel McCadams will prosecute the 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 1,300 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."