FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A woman charged with TennCare fraud has been apprehended after eluding authorities for over a year.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Julie D. Wright, 36, of McMinnville.
She was charged in an indictment in April of 2013 with TennCare fraud in connection with obtaining a controlled substance paid for by TennCare, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
"We´re continuing to crack down on people using TennCare to finance their drug habit or to provide a way for users to put the drugs on the street for other users to purchase illegally,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. "Local police and providers are committed to helping us eliminate prescription drug abuse, especially when TennCare is involved."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Randall A. York 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, 2,119 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."