FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Claiborne County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Curtis Vandal Sizemore, 44, of Harrogate, after a joint investigation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.
Sizemore is charged with TennCare fraud, delivery of a Scheduled II controlled substance, sale of Schedule II controlled substance, sale of a Schedule IV controlled substance, and delivery of a Schedule IV controlled substance. He is accused of obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone, which was paid for, in part, with TennCare medical assistance benefits. Charges accuse him of later selling a portion of the pain pills. In addition, Sizemore is charged with selling Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug, which is a Scheduled IV controlled substance.
“The notion of selling drugs that are paid for with public money isn’t a new one – but we have the tools in Tennessee to work full-force against this crime,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are working many of these cases and plan to pursue the full letter of the law.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, delivery and sale of a controlled substance by fraud are Class D felonies, both punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips 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, over 1,700 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."