Monday, August 9, 2010

DeKalb Residents Cited For TennCare Fraud

Two men and a woman are charged in Dekalb County with TennCare drug fraud related to selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of John Fagan, 35, and Brad E. Johnson, 36, both of Smithville, along with 48 year-old Virginia K. Jones of Alexandria. The arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Dekalb County Sheriff's Office. All three were arrested on indictments alleging that each of them fraudulently used TennCare benefits to pay for controlled substances they planned to sell.

"Not only are these suspects accused of using TennCare to pay for their drugs, they're also accused of using TennCare to pay for transportation to pick up their drugs," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "We can't tolerate this behavior, especially when taxpayers are footing the bill."

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General 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 $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."