Bedford Co. Man Charged 2nd Time With TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Bedford County man is charged with TennCare fraud in Coffee County, and it’s his second charge for the crime.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of 39-year old Brian K. Tucker. A Coffee County Grand Jury indicted Tucker with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment.
Tucker was first arrested in August of this year when he was charged with doctor shopping in Bedford County. Those charges are still pending in court.
"The fraudulent misuse of TennCare benefits is a serious issue but our office is out front in cracking down on these types of crimes," Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “People intent on committing TennCare fraud risk being forced to voluntarily give up the privilege of applying for TennCare in the future, if convicted.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Craig Northcott 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, 2,238 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."