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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

 
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
615.532.8560 (OFFICE)

    
     

FRANKLIN COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD

NASHVILLE, TN – A Franklin County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s Medicaid program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Penny D. Philpot, 37, of Decherd, after a joint investigation with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

She is charged with TennCare fraud involving selling a portion of painkillers purchased using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.  The drug involved was hydrocodone, a prescription pain medication.

"Selling prescription drugs paid for with tax dollars is illegal and intolerable," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "The illegal sale of prescription drugs to other people is dangerous and can be harmful and even deadly."

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison.  District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor 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, 2,060 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."