MONTGOMERY CO. MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE – A Montgomery County man is charged today with six counts of prescription forgery and three counts of TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Patrick Crespo, 25. 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, 312 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. The OIG is an agency separate from the TennCare bureau.
The charges against Crespo say he fraudulently obtained the painkiller hydrocodone, a Schedule III controlled substance on three separate occasions by picking up three forged prescriptions that had been paid for using the benefits of a TennCare enrollee.
“Many of our cases develop with the help of local police – in this case, it was the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Local officers are usually the first point of contact with some of those who are committing TennCare fraud, and they’ve been very helpful in assisting the state in waging a war against TennCare drug fraud.”
District Attorney John Carney is prosecuting. If convicted, Crespo could serve up to two years for each count of TennCare Fraud, a Class E felony and up to four years each on the controlled substance charges, which are Class D felonies.
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.”