|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Five people are charged with TennCare drug fraud in a Washington County investigation.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), working with the Washington and Unicoi County Sheriff's Offices today announced the arrests:
"We're extremely grateful to local law enforcement officials who work with us in the war against TennCare fraud," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "By pooling resources with local officials, we are all covering much more ground and making more progress in tackling the drug fraud problem, especially when people try to use public dollars to finance it."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Anthony Clark will be prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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."