FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – Three people in Dyer County are charged with TennCare drug fraud, after a round-up that netted almost 40 drug-related arrests. They were rounded up after an undercover investigation coordinated by the Office of Inspector General and the Dyersburg Police Department.
The three are all charged with trying to sell prescription drugs, which were paid for by TennCare. The most common drug involved was the painkiller morphine.
The three people charged with TennCare fraud are:
“Local law enforcement officials have been an extremely valuable asset as the Office of Inspector General goes after TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “By pooling resources with local law enforcement, we can cover a lot of territory in tackling the prescription drug fraud problem in Tennessee.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and sale of a schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony, punishable by three to six years in prison. District Attorney General Phillip Bivens 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, over 1,700 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."