Two Charged with TennCare Fraud in Hamblen Co. Investigation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people are charged with TennCare drug fraud after an undercover operation in Hamblen County
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, which were the result of a joint effort with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office. Both individuals were involved in the sale of prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
“We dedicate much of our time and resources tracking tips and participating in undercover operations to stop people who are using TennCare to finance prescription drug trafficking, at the expense of taxpayers,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.
The two arrested are:
- Candice Wilson, also known as Candice Denton, 30, of Morristown, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance. Wilson is accused of using TennCare to purchase Suboxone and later selling a portion to an undercover informant. Suboxone is used to treat addiction to opiates, or narcotics.
- Donnie Elmer Lovell, 57, of Morristown, charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of sales of a controlled substance. Lovell is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $5 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $176 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,193 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."