Thursday June 2, 2005
MEMPHIS WOMAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES
FOR TENNCARE AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE – June 2, 2005 - A Memphis woman has been charged
with 31 counts of TennCare fraud, identity theft, prescription drug
fraud, forgery and theft of services. The Office of TennCare Inspector
General (OIG) and the Shelby County District Attorney General today
announced the arrest of 49-year-old Cheryl
Worthey, also known as Cheryl Worthy. She was arrested in Memphis
by Sheriff’s Deputies after indictments were returned by the
Shelby County Grand Jury.
Worthey faces two counts of TennCare fraud alleging that between
March 2004 and April 2005, she obtained or attempted to obtain TennCare
medical assistance benefits by making false representations, statements
or impersonations, or by concealing facts. Worthey was indicted on
five counts of identity theft for allegedly using the DEA numbers
of five different doctors with the intent to obtain controlled substances.
The indictment also contains 18 counts of obtaining or attempting
to obtain narcotics by fraud for allegedly presenting pharmacies in
Memphis with false prescriptions for the addictive painkiller Lortab.
Worthey also faces 5 counts of forgery, for allegedly writing or altering
prescriptions for controlled substances with the intent to defraud.
A theft of property charge is also lodged against Worthey for receiving
TennCare benefits she was not entitled to.
“To date, this is the largest indictment issued as a result
of one of our investigations,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner
said. “It is the product of close cooperation between our office
and the Fraud and Economic Crimes Unit of the Shelby County District
Attorney General’s Office. General Gibbons and his assistants
have shown a strong commitment to prosecuting TennCare fraud.”
“It is especially disturbing when someone abuses a program
such as TennCare, which is designed to assist those most in need and
which is paid for by the taxpayers,” Gibbons said. “We
will continue to work with the Inspector General’s Office to
hold those who abuse the TennCare program accountable,” he added.
Worthey remains in custody with her bond set at $50,000.
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.”
TennCare is the state’s managed care health insurance program
for 1.3 million people who are poor, disabled or uninsured.