Wilson County Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Thursday, January 14, 2016 | 02:39pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Wilson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of Kawasha Smith, 33, of Lebanon. She is charged in a Wilson County indictment with two counts of TennCare fraud involving the sale of Morphine on two separate occasions. The drugs had been purchased using TennCare to pay for the prescriptions.

“We want to help get these dangerous narcotics off the streets in Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “It’s especially important for us to stop the use of public health benefits to pay for these drugs that are illegally sold to others.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. 

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, more than 2,500 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 go to https://www.tn.gov/tnoig.