White Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud in Two Counties
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A White County woman is charged with TennCare drug fraud in indictments from both White and Putnam Counties.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Crystal Marie Stewart, 37, of Sparta. She is charged in Putnam County with two counts of doctor shopping for the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare as payment. After posting bond in Putnam County, she was taken to the White County Jail where she was served with four counts of using TennCare to obtain the painkillers Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Oxycodone and Hydromorphone.
“When we’re working a case, we sometimes have evidence about criminal activity involving more than one county or more than one instance altogether and indictments are handed down separately, as in this case,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We appreciate and value the hard work of the providers across the state and their efforts in helping us develop these cases.”
District Attorney General Bryant C. Dunaway will be prosecuting both cases. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,826 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”