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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MAY 08, 2014

 
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
615.532.8560 (OFFICE)

    
     

 

FIVE IN WEAKLEY CO. CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD

NASHVILLE, TN – TennCare fraud charges have been lodged against five people in Weakley County.  The arrests were part of a four-month undercover operation involving officers from Dresden Police, the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Inspector (OIG).  All the charges involve people selling prescription drugs.

The five arrested and charged with TennCare fraud:

  • Carl Gallimore, 67, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller hydrocodone and later selling a portion of the drugs.  He is also charged with sale of schedule III controlled substance to an undercover agent within 1,000 feet of a school zone.
  • Wayne T. Johnson, 58, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain the painkiller hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drugs.  He is also charged with sale of schedule III controlled substance to an undercover agent.
  • Kathy Johnson, 61, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain the painkiller hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drugs.  She is also accused of sale of schedule III controlled substance to an undercover agent.
  • Mary L. Rodriguez, 50, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain Temazepam, a sleeping aid, and the anti-anxiety medication Clonazepam, both schedule IV controlled substances.  She’s accused of later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent, and also faces a charge of sale of schedule IV controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school zone.
  • Rickey Carrington, 54, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain the painkiller hydrocodone and later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent.  He is also charged with sale of schedule III controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up two years in prison per charge; both the sale and delivery of a schedule III and schedule IV controlled substance are Class D felonies with possible sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. The sale and delivery of a schedule III and schedule IV in a school zone is a Class C felony, with a possible sentence of up to 6 years in prison. District Attorney General Thomas A. Thomas 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 2,100 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."