FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Knox and Bedford County residents are charged with doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits as payment. For one of the men, it’s the second time he’s been charged with the crime, which involves going to multiple doctors in a short period of time to obtain controlled substances.
Presnell was being held in the Knox County Jail on unrelated charges and was transported to Blount County where he was served with the latest charges, involving five counts of doctor shopping. He was previously arrested in June, when he was charged in Knox County with six counts of doctor shopping. In addition, Presnell was charged with six counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Brian Keith Tucker, of Shelbyville, is charged in Bedford County with three counts of doctor shopping. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
"The fraudulent misuse of TennCare benefits is a serious issue but Tennessee is out front in cracking down on these types of crimes," Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said. “Health care providers and their employees have become very good at spotting these cases and they’re as committed as we are to winning the war against TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Robert Carter will be prosecuting the Bedford County case. District Attorney General Mike Flynn is prosecuting Presnell in Blount Co.
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, 2,171 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."