|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud in a case involving prescription painkillers.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kimberlynn Johnson, 21, of Memphis. The Memphis Police Department assisted in the arrest.
Johnson is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud for presenting a forged prescription for the painkiller Lortab to a pharmacy in Memphis.
"The abuse of TennCare benefits will not be tolerated," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "Local police, pharmacists, and other medical providers are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud - and we have the tools to pursue these cases as well as laws on the books to prosecute them."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison and obtaining controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony carrying up to 4 years in prison. District Attorney General William L. Gibbons is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
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.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."