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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2014

 
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
615.532.8560 (OFFICE)

    
     

SEVIER CO. MAN, ON THE RUN FOR 17 MONTHS,
ARRESTED ON TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD CHARGES

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After being on the run for the past 17 months, a Sevier County man faces a second round of “doctor shopping” charges, associated with going to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances and using TennCare as payment.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Clark Michael Shelton, 37, of Kodak. A Greene County Grand Jury indicted Shelton on March 25, 2013, charging him with six counts of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Lortab,  in addition to six counts of obtaining a controlled substances by fraud.  Shelton turned himself in to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

Shelton was arrested a year ago after an indictment in Knox County charged him with two counts of “doctor shopping” and six counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

“Crossing into another county to try to stock up on prescription drugs does not hide a person from law enforcement,” Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said.  “We will continue to go after these individuals every time they try to commit fraud against TennCare, which is vitally important to a lot of Tennesseans.”

TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell 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 TennCare, according to latest figures.  To date, 2,165 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."