|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – After being on the run for two months, a Sumner County woman who was charged with TennCare fraud in Dickson County has been arrested.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Erika R. Staggs Puderbach, 21, of Gallatin. Her arrest was assisted by the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office and the Dickson County Police Department.
Puderbach was indicted by a Dickson County Grand Jury and charged with one count of TennCare fraud for presenting a forged prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare benefits to pay for the drug.
The TennCare fraud charge against Puderbach could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 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."