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Knox Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 12:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Knox County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, which is the crime of using public dollars through TennCare benefits to obtain multiple prescriptions for controlled substances.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Sherry Lynn Pryor, 53, of Knoxville.  She is charged with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping.  Pryor is also charged with five counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.    

"We continue to pursue TennCare fraud across the state, and the front line of that battle is prescription drug fraud," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. "We will vigorously prosecute people accused of committing TennCare fraud as well as those who attempt to abuse the program."

TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.   District Attorney General Charme P. Allen is prosecuting.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $5 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $176 million for TennCare, according to latest figures.  To date, 2,269 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 Office of Inspector General and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."