Giles Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Giles County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare healthcare insurance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the Giles County Sheriff’s Office today announced that 46-year old Lashawn Smith of Pulaski, Tennessee is charged with one count of TennCare fraud. Smith is charged with obtaining a prescription for 120 tablets of the painkiller Oxycodone, and then selling a portion of the pills. TennCare paid for both the doctor’s visit and the prescription.
“The OIG stresses the importance of thwarting individuals from diverting dangerous drugs to the streets of Tennessee,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We truly appreciate the strong relationships with the Giles County Sheriff’s Office and the TBI in these efforts.”
TennCare fraud is a class D felony. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Brent A. Cooper, of Giles County. If convicted, Smith could face penalties of up 12 years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated iver 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 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, 3,078 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 or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”