ARRESTS FOR TENNCARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG FRAUD IN HAMBLEN, LAWRENCE COUNTIES
NASHVILLE, TN – TennCare enrollees in Hamblen and Lawrence Counties have been charged with felony TennCare fraud in separate incidents involving forged prescriptions. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Michelle Russell, 24, of Lawrence County and Amanda Bryson, 28, of Morristown.
Russell was charged with TennCare fraud for presenting a forged prescription for the addictive painkiller hydrocodone, a Schedule II narcotic, to a pharmacy in Lawrenceburg, and it was paid for by TennCare. Her arrest was coordinated with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and the Lawrenceburg Police Department. Mike Bottoms, District Attorney for Lawrence County and Jim White, Assistant Attorney for Lawrence County will be prosecuting the case. Possible criminal penalties for the charge, a class E felony range from one to six years in prison.
Amanda Bryson faces four charges, including 3 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud as well as one count of TennCare fraud. She is accused of attempting to obtain prescriptions for the painkillers Oxycontin and Percocet as well as Valium, a tranquilizer, all in the name of another TennCare enrollee. District Attorney Randall Nichols is prosecuting. Criminal penalties for the charges range from one to six years on each count.
“We are determined to prevent TennCare dollars from supporting an individual’s drug habit,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We continue to pursue prescription cases across the state and plan to prosecute anyone and everyone we find to be abusing the system.”Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tennessee.gov/tenncare and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”