SUMNER CO. MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, TN – A Sumner County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drug medication paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Willie E. West, Jr., 53, of Goodlettsville. 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, 315 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. The OIG is an agency separate from the TennCare bureau.
A Sumner County indictment accuses West of selling drugs paid for by TennCare, including Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication, and carisprodol, usually prescribed as a muscle relaxant or sedative. Millersville Police assisted in the arrest.
“The abuse of TennCare benefits may have been easy to get by with years ago, but those days are gone thanks to Governor Bredesen,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police departments, sheriffs’ officers, pharmacies and other prividers are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney Lawrence Ray Whitley is prosecuting.
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.”