FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A White County man is charged in Rutherford County with obtaining a prescription by fraud, using TennCare benefits to pay for the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the White and Rutherford County Sheriffs’ Offices, today announced the arrest of Jacob Samford, 27, of Sparta.
An indictment accuses Samford of obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone by fraudulent means and using TennCare benefits to pay for the prescription. Samford was being held in the White County Jail on unrelated charges, and was transported to the Rutherford County Jail, where he was served with the indictment.
“The Office of Inspector General is working with local police and providers to help us get this kind of activity out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. 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."