Six People in White County Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - Six people in White County are charged with TennCare fraud in a round-up that resulted from an undercover investigation of prescription drug fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and White County Sheriff’s narcotics officers conducted the six-month undercover operation, charging a total of 48 people for selling prescription drugs and six of them are accused of obtaining the drugs with TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of local police like Detectives Craig Capps and Joey Williams of the White County Sheriff’s Office, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
The six arrested are:
- Allan Henry, 51, of Sparta, charged with TennCare fraud for knowingly obtaining a controlled substance paid for by TennCare with the intent of selling at least a portion of the drugs;
- Gaines Lewis, 29, of Sparta, charged with TennCare fraud for obtaining a controlled substance paid for by TennCare with the intent of selling the drugs;
- Michael Gonzalez, 42, of Sparta, charged with TennCare fraud for using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance that he planned to sell to others;
- Dana Yearwood, 27, of Spencer, charged with TennCare fraud for the second time in less than a month. She’s accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a controlled substance while planning to sell a portion of the drug. Yearwood was arrested in late January in Van Buren County where she was charged with two counts of delivery of an amphetamine and one count of TennCare fraud;
- Crystal Dillon, 31, of Spencer, who was also just charged with TennCare fraud in late January. In this arrest, she’s charged with TennCare fraud and accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a controlled substance while planning to sell a portion of the drug. She was previously charged with one count of delivery of the pain medication Oxycodone and one count of delivery of a similar pain medication, Hydrocodone and one count of TennCare fraud;
- Zachary Young, 18, of Sparta, charged with TennCare fraud and accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a controlled substance that he planned to sell to others.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. 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."