|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Leaanna Elaine Valdivia, 29, of McMinnville, after a joint investigation with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. Valdivia is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, and two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance, in this case, Morphine.
“We are working hard across the state to put a stop to the activity of selling drugs paid for by the state’s public healthcare insurance program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’ve got the help of local law enforcement programs who are committed to getting prescription drugs off the streets.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The sale of and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class E felony, punishable by three to six years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Lisa S. Zavogiannis 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 1,700 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."