|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
CLAIBORNE COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Claiborne County man is charged with TennCare fraud involving the resale of prescription medication.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the indictment of 43-year old Tommy L. Martin of New Tazewell on one count of TennCare fraud. Martin is accused of using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication Xanax from a local physician and concealing the fact he planned to sell a portion of the pills. The Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department assisted in Martin’s arrest.
“Providers, law enforcement and state agencies are simply no longer tolerating this kind of abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re intent on prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible.”
If convicted, Martin could each spend up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William P. Phillips will prosecute.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 850 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."