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Overton County Drug Round-Up Includes TennCare Fraud Charges

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | 05:25am

NASHVILLE, TN - Seven people are charged with TennCare fraud, after a drug suspect round-up in Overton County that netted over 100 charges against at least 70 people accused of prescription drug fraud. The arrests are the results of an undercover investigation involving the Livingston Police Department, Overton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The seven charged with TennCare fraud include:

  • Christopher I. Thrasher, 48, of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and three counts of delivery of the painkiller Oxycodone in a drug free-zone.   Thrasher is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the addictive drug, and later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent within one thousand feet of an elementary school.
  • Theresa M. Owens, 55, of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of the painkiller Oxycodone. She is accused of obtaining the drug by using TennCare benefits with the intention of selling at least a portion of the pills.
  • Ann M. Hall, 33, of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of delivery of a controlled substance for using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover agent.
  • Sherri Lynn Frazier, 33, of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone for using TennCare to purchase Hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover agent within a thousand feet of a public high school.
  • Bernard G. Frazier, Jr., 30 of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone.  Frazier is accused of using TennCare to purchase the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion to an undercover agent within one thousand feet of a public day care facility.
  • Ollie A. Poore, 35, of Livingston, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of a controlled substance.  Poore is accused of using her son’s TennCare benefits to purchase Ritalin and Adderall.  Both drugs are used to treat attention deficit disorder, especially in children, but also have high potential for abuse because they are similar to cocaine and amphetamines. Poore is accused of selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover informant.
  • Amy R. Linder, 30, of Livingston, charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of delivery of a controlled substance.  She is accused of using TennCare benefits to purchase Suboxone, a painkiller used to treat addiction to drugs like morphine and heroin, then selling a portion to an undercover agent.

“Livingston and Overton County officers were key to building these cases and helping us identify those who were using TennCare to finance drug trafficking,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.  “The message we are sending is that Tennessee does not tolerate fraud and abuse of the TennCare program.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.  District Attorney General Randall A. York 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, nearly 1,500 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 log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud.

TennCare Fraud | Press Releases