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Three People in Dekalb Co. Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud

Friday, December 12, 2014 | 04:51am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A husband and wife along with another woman are charged in DeKalb County with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrests, which were a joint effort with the Smithville Police Department.

“The OIG was formed because Tennesseans were tired of this activity going unchecked in a program as important as TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “We’re one of the few units of this kind in the nation, and it brings a higher level of integrity to our public health program.”

The three arrested are:

  • Terry L. Johnson, 35, of Smithville, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling a controlled substance obtained using TennCare benefits.
  • Judy Johnson, 56, of Smithville, charged with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain a prescription for a controlled substance, then selling a portion of the drugs.
  • Cynthia Vaughn, 41, of Smithville, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance and later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover informant.  An indictment says this happened on two separate occasions.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison.  District Attorney Bryant C. Dunaway 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, 2,239 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."

TennCare Fraud | Press Releases