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Four in Wilson County Round-Up Charged with TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 09:31am

NASHVILLE, TN – TennCare fraud charges are lodged against four people in Wilson County who are part of an undercover operation that netted approximately 46 individuals, all for drug-related crimes. The operation involved the Lebanon Police Narcotics Unit, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the TBI. All the charges involved people selling prescription drugs.

The 4 arrested and charged with TennCare fraud are:

  • Joseph Mansfield, 58, of Lebanon, charged with TennCare fraud and sale controlled substances for using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent.
  • Tonya Goodall, 24, of Lebanon, charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance for selling the drug Buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone, which is a drug used to break addiction to heroin because it has the same properties, but isn’t addictive.  TennCare was used to pay for the drug, and charges say Goodall twice sold it to an undercover agent.
  • Connie Ann Gillihan, also known as Connie Arendal, 41, of Lebanon, charged with TennCare fraud for using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone and later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent.  She was also charged with possession of the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone with the intention of selling those drugs.
  • Misty Wooden, 31, of Lebanon, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain Valium while planning to sell a portion of the drugs, along with two counts of selling the painkiller Oxycodone and one count of casual exchange of Valium.

Both TennCare fraud and the sale and delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance are Class E felonies carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.  The sale of a schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony, punishable by three to six years in prison.  District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson 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 1,700 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."