Sullivan Co. Woman Sentenced to Prison for TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sullivan County woman is sentenced to a year in prison, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced sentencing for Audrey Lynn Smith, 42, of Kingsport. She was arrested in February and charged with obtaining the painkiller Oxycodone by presenting a forged prescription at the pharmacy and using TennCare to pay for it.
Smith pleaded guilty in Hawkins County Criminal Court, receiving a one-year prison sentence and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.
“The abuse of TennCare benefits may have been easy to get by with at one time, years ago, but those days are gone,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Local police departments, sheriffs’ offices, pharmacies and other providers are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud.”
District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong prosecuted this case.
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, 2,208 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."