100 PEOPLE CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD BY OIG
PUTNAM, SEQUATCHIE ARRESTS ARE LATEST
NASHVILLE – Three arrests today bring to 100 the total number of TennCare fraud arrests since the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) became operational in February of this year. A Putnam County woman and two people in Sequatchie County are the latest charged with TennCare fraud.
“In many of our cases, local health care providers are bringing us tips that lead to TennCare fraud charges,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We encourage everyone in the health care field to help by reporting suspected fraud to the OIG. The fraudulent misuse of TennCare pharmacy benefits is a serious problem across the state.”
A two-count Overton County indictment against Betty J. Mullholland, 57, of Cookeville accuses her of committing felony theft of services and fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by using a false name and social security number in order to receive TennCare medical services. The indictment alleges that while Mullholland was enrolled in TennCare, she willfully falsified another application in Overton County for TennCare claiming to be Cindy Gruhn. As a result, Mullholland received TennCare medical benefits under two names from August 3, 2004 through February 28, 2005.
The TennCare charges against Mullholland are Class D and E felonies, punishable by up to six years each in prison. Bond was set at $10,000. The Cookeville Police Department and sheriff’s officers in Putnam and Overton Counties assisted the OIG in coordinating the arrest. Overton County District Attorney William E. Gibson is prosecuting.
In Sequatchie County, Corey Fugate, 19, and Tina Arnold, 33, both of Dunlap, were indicted by a Grand Jury for TennCare fraud involving forged prescriptions. A five-count indictment charges that in August 2004, Tina Arnold committed the felony of fraudulently obtaining TennCare medical services by presenting forged prescriptions to local pharmacies for Xanax, an anti-depressant. TennCare paid for the forged prescriptions. The indictment also charges that on August 11, 2004, Arnold was unsuccessful in her attempt to use TennCare to pay for yet another forged Xanax prescription because the pharmacy called police to report a suspected forgery. Arnold was previously indicted by the Sequatchie County Grand Jury for passing forged prescriptions and her trial date on those charges is set for January 31, 2006.
Corey Fugate is charged with aiding and abetting Arnold in permitting her to present a forged prescription for Xanax in his name at a local pharmacy, with payment by TennCare.The charges against Fugate and Arnold are Class E felonies, punishable by up to two years in prison on each count. Bond was set at $5,000 each. The Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office assisted OIG special agents with the arrests. Sequatchie County District Attorney Michael Taylor is prosecuting.
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.”