|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
FOUR PEOPLE CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD IN DAVIDSON, UNICOI AND DYER COUNTIES
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four people are charged separately with TennCare fraud in Davidson, Unicoi and Dyer Counties, with all the cases involving charges of using TennCare to purchase prescription pain medication and, in one case, selling the pills to an undercover agent.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of these individuals:
• Tamika Word, 25, of Nashville, indicted on six counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, nine counts of Identity Theft, and five counts of TennCare fraud. Word allegedly used the identity of a TennCare enrollee without that person’s consent, and presented forged prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone to be paid for by TennCare. District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III will prosecute.
• Amy R. Anderson, 41, of Erwin, indicted by a Unicoi County Grand Jury on one count of TennCare fraud for using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent. District Attorney General Anthony Clark will prosecute.
• Kimberly Michelle Dallas, 22, and her mother, Cheryl Lynn McGuire, 42 of Dyersburg, both indicted for presenting forged prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodone at local pharmacies. Dallas was charged with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of TennCare fraud. McGuire was charged with four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. District Attorney General Phillip Bivens will prosecute both cases.
“TennCare fraud crosses all social, economic and professional lines,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “People committing TennCare fraud are taking something they’re not entitled to, and the chance of getting caught has increased substantially.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, while obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft are Class D felonies, punishable by two to four years in prison.
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 1,050 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."