FIVE CHARGED, ONE CONVICTED OF TENNCARE FRAUD
Residents of Sequatchie, Knox and Sumner Counties Involved
NASHVILLE – Four residents of Sequatchie County and a Knox County woman are the latest TennCare fraud arrests by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The charges against all five are related to obtaining and attempting to sell prescription drugs that were paid for by the TennCare healthcare insurance program. A total of 180 people have been charged with TennCare fraud by the OIG since February 2005.
William Deweese, 21, and his wife Krissie Deweese, 25, were arrested along with another couple, Adam Moreland, 28, and wife Cassandra Mooreland, 27. William and Krissie Deweese are accused of obtaining the painkiller oxycodone paid for by her TennCare coverage and attempting to sell the drug to undercover agents with the 12th Judicial Task Force. Adam and Cassandra Moreland are accused of obtaining an anti-anxiety medication (clonazepam) paid for by their TennCare benefits and selling some of the pills to an undercover agent with the 12th Judicial Drug Task Force.
District Attorney General Michael Taylor is prosecuting the four cases. The possible criminal penalties for the charges are up to two years on each count.
“This is another great example of other law enforcement agencies working together with us to stop TennCare prescription drug fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
In the Knoxville case, 22-year old Crystal Burton of Knox County was charged with six counts of obtaining controlled substances and one county of trying to fraudulently obtain medical assistance. The drugs involved were Percocet, a brand version of oxycodone, and Lorcet, a brand version of hydrocodone – both powerful and addictive painkillers.
“In this case, local pharmacies were alert to some of the tactics of people trying to obtain these drugs for reasons other than their clinical purposes,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We depend on them – along with other providers - to help us identify these cases so we can prosecute them.”
District Attorney General Randall E. Nichols is prosecuting Burton. If convicted, she could be sentenced up to six years in prison.
In an unrelated case, a Gallatin woman has pleaded guilty to one county of TennCare fraud. Melodie Griffin, 38, was accused of trying to use TennCare to pay for an altered prescription, a Class E felony. She received 18 months supervised probation and must withdraw from TennCare enrollment.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.”