Claiborne Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - A Claiborne County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s Medicaid program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Leann Davis Johnston, 47, of New Tazewell, after a joint investigation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of Schedule II controlled substance.
Johnston is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone while intending to sell a portion of the drugs.
“Selling prescription drugs that were paid for with tax dollars is illegal and intolerable,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “The illegal sale of prescription drugs to other people is dangerous and can be harmful or even deadly.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony, punishable by three to six years in prison. District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones 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 2,000 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."