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Hickman County Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Thursday, October 24, 2013 | 07:26am

NASHVILLE, TN - A Hickman County woman is charged in Dickson County with TennCare fraud for using the state healthcare insurance program to pay for fraudulent prescriptions.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force, today announced the arrest of Keaton Victoria Staggs, 22, of Centerville.

The charges accuse Staggs of portraying a doctor’s office and calling in prescriptions at a local pharmacy in order to obtain the addictive painkiller Lortab.  TennCare was used to pay for the forged prescriptions. 

Staggs is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of obtaining a Scheduled III controlled substance by fraud and forgery.

“The OIG is working with local police and providers to help us get this kind of activity out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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 1,900 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