|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
CLAIBORNE COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Claiborne County man has been charged with TennCare fraud for attempting to sell prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of David A. Payne, 28, of Tazewell, after a joint investigation with the 8th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.
Payne was indicted on one count of TennCare fraud. Payne is accused of using his TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone by means of a false statement, and concealing the fact that he planned to sell a portion of the filled prescription.
"We are making a major dent in the war against TennCare fraud, and the front line of that battle is prescription drug fraud," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We will vigorously prosecute people accused of committing all TennCare fraud as well as those who attempt to abuse the program."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips is prosecuting.
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 860 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."