NINE PEOPLE CHARGED IN TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD ROUND-UP
27 OTHERS FACE DRUG CHARGES
NASHVILLE, TN – Nine people in Lawrence County are charged today with TennCare drug fraud, after a round-up that also lodged prescription drug charges against 27 other people in Lawrence County. The arrests are the result of an undercover investigation involving the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the Lawrenceburg Police department.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February of 2005, 310 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
The TennCare fraud charges in Lawrence County all involve people trying to sell their prescription drugs paid for by TennCare to an undercover informant. Most of the charges involved selling hydrocodone, a highly addictive painkiller often sold as the brand drug OxyContin.
“Local police - Lawrence County and Lawrenceburg Officers – were key to building these cases and helping us make these arrests,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We depend on local officers to help us in the war against TennCare drug fraud, and they are getting the word that Governor Bredesen has empowered an agency to do something about fraud in the TennCare program.”
The nine people charged with TennCare fraud:
District Attorney Mike Bottoms and Assistant District Attorney Christy Thompson will prosecute these cases. If convicted all could face one to six years in prison.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”