|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Dyer County man is charged TennCare fraud for selling painkillers paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Dyer County Sheriff’s Office today announced that 40-year old Stevie Lynn Robertson of Dyersburg is charged with TennCare fraud in an indictment that also includes two counts of sale of a Schedule III controlled substance and one count of sale of a Schedule VI drug controlled substance.
Charges accuse Robertson of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone using TennCare to pay for the prescription, concealing that he intended to sell a portion of it. Robertson was also charged with selling marijuana.
“This case was brought to our attention by local police, who are the first to know about people caught up in any kind of drug trafficking in their communities,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “When TennCare is involved, we are able to add tools to prosecute people using the state program to subsidize their drug deals.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Sale of a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General C. Phillip Bivens is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."