|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, May 22, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Wilson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs that were purchased with benefits from the TennCare program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Ashley Nichole Agee, 24, of Lebanon, after a joint investigation with the Lebanon Police Department.
Agee has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud accusing her of using TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for the painkiller morphine sulfate, while planning to unlawfully sell a portion of the prescription.
“Prescription drug abuse is a problem nationwide, and Tennessee is no exception,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “But we do not tolerate people buying and selling drugs with taxpayers funding their operations.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Agee could result in a two-year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,600 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."