Monday, July 6, 2009

Sparta Woman Charged with Fraud


A White County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs that were paid for by TennCare. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 53-year-old Ruby W. Graham of Sparta, after a joint investigation with the White County Sheriff's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Graham has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud. She is accused of using TennCare to fill a prescription for morphine sulfate, a controlled-release drug used to treat moderate to severe pain requiring around-the-clock relief for an extended period of time. Authorities say she then sold a portion of the pills to another person.


"We are working with police officers across the state, as their local investigations many times lead to TennCare, and we're committed to eliminating this activity in the program," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "Local police, doctors and pharmacists are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, especially in TennCare."

The TennCare fraud charge against Graham could result in a two-year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney Randall A. York is prosecuting. The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution to TennCare. To date, more than 920 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, local residents 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."