Three Claiborne Co. Residents Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - Three people in Claiborne County are charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, which come after a joint investigation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.
The three charged are:
- Mary Lou Price, 60, of Tazewell, charged with TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. The charges say she obtained the painkiller Oxycodone by using TennCare benefits, while planning to unlawfully distribute a portion of the prescription.
- Melinda H. Taylor, 41, and Delores K. Miller, 42, both of Speedwell, are each charged with TennCare fraud, and two counts each of sale of a Schedule III controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance. They are each accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain Hydrocodone and selling a portion of it on two separate occasions.
“Local officers - in this case, Claiborne County Sheriff’s Officers - are key to building many of our cases across the state and helping us make these arrests,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We depend on local officers to assist us with stopping TennCare drug fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. 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."