News release from TennCare:
NASHVILLE – A Wayne County man is charged in Lawrence County with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare, the state’s public healthcare insurance program.
The arrest brings to 1,500 the number of people arrested for TennCare fraud since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) began investigating and pursing this criminal activity.
With the assistance of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the OIG today announced the arrest of Mickey Brown, 44, of Waynesboro. Brown was recently released from a state correctional facility where he was serving time on a related charge. He was apprehended at his home by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and served with the indictment.
Brown has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud in a charge accusing him of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone at a drug store in Lawrenceburg, using TennCare to pay for it, then selling a portion of the pills.
“Local police across the state play a pivotal role in helping us in the war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Brown could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney Mike Bottoms 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, nearly 1,500 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.”