FOUR IN SUMNER COUNTY ARRESTED FOR TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
MORE ARRESTS EXPECTED
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four Sumner County residents were charged today in a TennCare drug fraud roundup in Sumner County. The arrests come as part of a recent crackdown on TennCare prescription fraud by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in coordination with officers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Sumner Co. Sheriff’s Officer, 18th Judicial District Drug Task Force and Hendersonville Police Department. Officials say more arrests are expected in the near future.
Today’s roundup resulted in the arrest of Melodie Griffin, 38, and Traci Breedlove, 42, both of Hendersonville. Also arrested were 55-year-old Carol Pedigo and 38-year-old Beverly O’Neal, both of Portland. All four women were arrested on charges of fraud against the TennCare prescription drug program.
Griffin faces charges of TennCare fraud, attempting to obtain possession of a controlled substance by fraud and forgery. OIG Special Agents and Hendersonville Police Detectives accuse Griffin of stealing a blank prescription from a doctor’s office, forging a prescription for the painkiller Lortab, presenting the forged prescription at a Hendersonville pharmacy with the intent to pay for it with TennCare.
Breedlove faces two counts of TennCare fraud for obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone from a physician while not revealing that she had received a 28-day supply of the same medication just two days earlier; and, the second count is for obtaining a prescription for the anti-anxiety medication Alprazolam while hiding the fact that she had received a one-month supply of the same medication just a week earlier. A Sumner Co. indictment accuses Breedlove of using TennCare to pay for both prescriptions.
O’ Neal and Pedigo were both indicted for TennCare fraud for allegedly using TennCare to pay for prescriptions of anti-anxiety medications while concealing the fact that they planned to sell their TennCare drugs. O’Neal faces one count of fraudulently obtaining Xanax. Pedigo faces two counts of fraudulently obtaining Diazepam. The arrests of Breedlove, O’Neal, and Pedigo stem from investigations conducted by OIG and the Drug Task Force.
“As we continue to establish our presence as the primary law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting TennCare fraud, we are receiving outstanding cooperation from other state and local law enforcement agencies,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We rely on local officers who many times find TennCare fraud while investigating other crimes, or begin an investigation to find it leads to TennCare fraud.”
Faulkner praised the other agencies that participated in the arrests as well as District Attorney General Ray Whitley and staff for their assistance and work on the cases. “TennCare fraud cases are very important to the citizens and taxpayers of Tennessee,” Whitley said. “I intend to vigorously prosecute these cases.”
O’Neal, Pedigo, and Breedlove are each being held on $5000 bond. TennCare fraud and forgery are Class E felonies punishable by up to two years in prison. The controlled substance charge is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
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.”