Three in Dyer County Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN – Two men and a woman are charged with TennCare fraud in a Dyer County indictment for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of Lateia Cruse, 20, and Raymond Thomas, 42, both of Dyersburg, and Thomas Moore, 55, of Trimble. These arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Dyersburg Police Department.
The three were each arrested on indictments alleging they fraudulently obtained prescription drugs using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits. According to the indictments, Cruse used TennCare to obtain Dextroamphetamine; Thomas is accused of using TennCare to pay for the painkiller Hydrocodone, and Moore used his benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone.
After obtaining prescriptions, all three individuals are accused of reselling a portion of their prescriptions to a confidential informant. Both Cruse and Thomas were each charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of sale of a controlled substance in a school drug free zone. Moore was charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of sale of a schedule II controlled substance.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General C. Phillip Bivens 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."