Claiborne County Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE – A Claiborne County woman is charged with TennCare fraud, accused of selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Amy Elaine Burgess, 48, of New Tazewell, after a joint investigation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office and the OIG.
Burgess has been charged with TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule III controlled substance in a drug free zone, and delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance in a drug free zone. Burgess is accused of obtaining the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare benefits, while planning to sell at least a portion of the drug. The offense was committed on or near property with a public facility where children were present.
“When abused, prescription drugs become a threat to our communities, and a threat to our children when people are selling them on or near a school ground,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and sale and delivery of a controlled substance in a drug free zone are both Class C felonies, punishable by three to six years in prison. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips 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."