Hawkins Co. Man Charged with Aiding, Abetting Wife in TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN – A Hawkins County man is accused of aiding and abetting his wife in her attempt to acquire a controlled substance, later selling a portion of it.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Bradley Scott Neal, 28, of Church Hill. He was served with the charges while he was being held in the Hawkins County Jail. His wife Christine Thacker Neal, 24, of Church Hill has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud. They are accused of using the wife’s TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for Subutex, an opioid used to treat heroin addiction, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs. Mr. Neal was charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for aiding and abetting his wife’s efforts to obtain the prescription.
“It’s unfortunate when people use TennCare this way, in an effort to abuse or resell prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “On the other hand, getting caught can often be the first step to getting help, and that’s what we hope happens in all our prescription drug fraud cases.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General C. Berkeley Bell is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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 www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."