|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Davidson County woman is charged for the second time in a month with TennCare prescription drug fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from Metro Nashville Police and the 21st Judicial District Drug Task Force, today announced the arrest of Mary Rachel Carter, 32, of Nashville. Carter is currently being held in the Davidson County Jail on charges related to this arrest.
She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft. Carter is accused of attempting to obtain possession of the painkiller Lortab by means of forgery and using the name and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency control number of a provider, which she was not authorized to use. She’s also accused of trying to use TennCare public healthcare insurance to pay for the forged prescription.
She was first arrested by the OIG in mid-March of last year, when she was charged with one count of TennCare fraud for allegedly making a false statement and concealing material facts in order to obtain TennCare benefits.
"Part of our continuing mission is to help preserve the integrity of the TennCare prescription drug program," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We will attempt to do so by vigorously prosecuting anyone who uses or attempts to use the program for illegitimate purposes."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft both are Class D felonies that carry a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney Victor “Tory” S. Johnson 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 1,400 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."