FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Giles County man is charged with TennCare fraud related to prescription drugs, and it’s the 2nd time he’s been charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Giles County Sheriff’s Office and the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force today announced the arrest of Lonnie Miller, 38, of Pulaski. Miller is accused of using TennCare state healthcare insurance benefits to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
Miller was first arrested in December of last year, when he was indicted in Giles County on two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” Miller was accused that time of seeing multiple physicians in a short period of time to obtain prescriptions for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
“Prescription drug abuse is just like any other drug abuse in that people sometimes resort to criminal activity to obtain drugs, or to sell them,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Long-term prescription drug abuse can cripple a person’s body, and destroy their lives in an instant.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Miller could result in a two year sentence if convicted. District Attorney General 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, 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."