Perry Co. Man Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Perry County man is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Gary Shannon Peters, 43, of Lobelville, after a joint investigation with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office.
Peters is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a Schedule III controlled substance. Charges accuse him of selling and/or delivering the painkiller Lortab, which was obtained using TennCare benefits as payment.
“We appreciate the hard work of the Perry County Sheriff’s Office,” said Inspector General Manny Tyndall. “Local law enforcement is usually the first point of contact with some of those committing TennCare fraud and they are as committed as we are to combatting prescription drug diversion.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Peters could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. Sale of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Kim Helper 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."