Perry Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Friday, January 09, 2015 | 12:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Perry County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs which were paid for by the state’s Medicaid healthcare insurance program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Gina Renee Peters, 39, of Lobelville, after a joint investigation with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.

Peters is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale or delivery of the painkiller Lortab. Charges accuse Peters of obtaining a prescription for the drug, using TennCare as payment, then selling a portion of the pills.

“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they zero in on local narcotics trafficking and where we can establish that TennCare was involved,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “Local police, providers and citizens are committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, especially when it involves public dollars.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, sale of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Kim Helper 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, 2,255 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."