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Two Mid-State Residents Charged with TennCare Fraud

Thursday, January 29, 2015 | 12:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Residents of Giles and Coffee Counties are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases, both involving prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General today announced the arrests, including a woman with multiple TennCare fraud indictments.  

A Maury County Grand Jury charged Stacey Richardson, 33, of Minor Hill with doctor shopping for controlled substances.   Richardson was arrested last week and charged in Giles County with four counts of doctor shopping.  After the Maury County charges were disposed of, she was transported to Bedford County, where she was served with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping.   Both the Giles and Maury County Sheriff’s Offices assisted with her arrest. District Attorney General Brent Cooper will be prosecuting the Giles and Maury County Cases.  District Attorney General Robert Clark is prosecuting the Bedford County case.

In the other mid-state arrest, a Coffee County man is charged with TennCare fraud for using the program to obtain prescription drugs and later distributing the drugs to others.  Nickolas Dewayne Ferrell, 35, of Tullahoma, is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.  Tullahoma Police assisted with his arrest.

"Prescription drug fraud is a significant burden on the health care system and on communities across the state," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. "We´re committed to eliminating this crime in the TennCare program, and local police and providers across the state are working with us in this effort."

District Attorney General Craig Northcott is prosecuting the Coffee County case.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures.  To date, 2,274 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."