|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County man has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs which had been paid for with TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Roane County Sheriff’s office today announced the arrest of Robert Wayne Edwards, 52, of Rockwood. He’s accused in an indictment of one count of TennCare fraud by obtaining the pain medication Oxycodone, while intending to resell at least part of the drugs. Edwards used TennCare benefits to pay for the drugs.
“All across Tennessee, local law enforcement agencies are working with us to end TennCare fraud, especially when it means we’re getting painkillers out of the hands of people who weren’t prescribed the drugs by a doctor,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re fortunate to work with agencies like the Roane County Sheriff, as they mean business when it comes to cracking down on drug crimes.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Russell Johnson 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 1,300 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."