|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Humphreys County woman is charged in Williamson County with selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Deborah Wills, 38, of Waverly, after a joint investigation with officers from Waverly, Humphreys County and Williamson County.
Wills is charged with one count of TennCare fraud in charged accusing her of filling a prescription for Suboxone, a drug used to help people break heroin addiction by mimicking the effects of heroin without the addictive qualities. The drugs, which Wills is accused of planning to sell, were paid for with TennCare benefits.
“Many times when local police uncover illegal drug activity there’s a TennCare connection through pharmacy benefits or medical benefits paid to the doctor who wrote the prescription,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Police and providers across Tennessee have joined with us to battle prescription drug abuse, especially when TennCare is involved.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Wills could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Kim R. Helper is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 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."