|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
MARION COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Marion County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Jahala E. Sanders, 24, of Dunlap after a joint investigation with the Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office.
Sanders is accused of using TennCare to pay for prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone on two separate occasions, while concealing the fact she planned to sell a portion of the drugs. Sanders was arrested at a county jail in Lexington, Kentucky, where she is currently serving time on unrelated charges.
“We’re cracking down on people using TennCare to finance their drug habit or to provide a way for users to put the drugs on the street for other users to purchase illegally,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police and providers are committed to helping us eliminate prescription drug abuse, especially when TennCare is involved.”
The TennCare fraud charges against Sanders could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor 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 1,050 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."