Warren Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Joyce Ann Brown, 57, of McMinnville, after a joint investigation with the McMinnville Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
Brown is charged with TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. Charges accuse her of obtaining the painkiller Morphine using TennCare benefits and delivering a portion of the drugs to a buyer.
“Local authorities are cracking down on prescription drug abuse in communities across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are working with many local agencies to bring people to justice if they’re using TennCare to obtain drugs they intend to sell.”
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 Lisa S. Zavogiannis 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."