TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2006
FIVE SENTENCED FOR TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, TN – Five people have been sentenced for TennCare fraud – all charged in the past year by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
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 2005, 231 people have been charged with TennCare fraud, leading to 57 convictions for TennCare fraud and 14 cases resolved.
The five new sentences announced today include:
- Overton County: JoAnn Bledsoe, 43, of Livingston, who received a suspended three-year sentence with supervised probation after pleading guilty to two counts of obtaining a controlled substance and two counts of TennCare fraud. Bledsoe must also repay TennCare $1,902.24.
- Overton County: Rita M. Daniels, 32, received a suspended two-year sentence with supervised probation after pleading guilty to one count of TennCare fraud. She was accused of submitting a fraudulent prescription for drugs including the painkiller Lortab.
- Maury County: 40–year old Norma Lynn Ingrum of Mt. Pleasant received a three-year suspended sentence, with three years’ probation, after pleading guilty to two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of prescription fraud for obtaining the painkiller Lortab by impersonation. Ingrum must also enter and complete an in-patient drug abuse program followed by four months in a halfway house.
- McNairy County: Charles Moore, 63, and Joyce James, 59, were both charged with TennCare fraud and possession of a controlled drug, the painkiller hydrocodone, for trying to sell the drug after it was paid for with their TennCare benefits. Moore received two years on the TennCare fraud charge to run concurrent with a four-year sentence on the charge that he planned to sell the drug. He must also serve his time in a community-based alternative program and pay a $2,000 fine. Ms. James received one year to be served in a community-based alternative program.
“The prescription drug benefit is critically important to people who depend on TennCare, and we are working diligently to stop abuse of this benefit,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Pharmacists and other providers along with local law enforcement agencies across the state are working with us to bring an end to this problem in Tennessee.”
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.”