Four People Charged with TennCare Drug Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four people are charged with TennCare drug fraud in Weakley County, after an undercover operation. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, which were the result of a joint effort with the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office. All four arrests involve the sale of prescription drugs paid for by TennCare:
- Jerry Tarion Carter, 58, of Dresden, charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a controlled substance. He’s accused of using TennCare benefits to purchase the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.
- Echo Colleen Jackson, 26, of Greenfield, charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a controlled substance. She’s accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the drug Adderall, a psychostimulant prescribed for attention deficit disorder, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.
- Connie Sue Burton, 59, of Greenfield, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance. She’s charged in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication, and selling a portion to an undercover informant on two separate occasions.
- Angela Reney Larue, 34, of Sharon, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a controlled substance. She’s accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone and selling a portion to an undercover informant on two separate occasions.
“We dedicate much of our time and resources tracking tips and participating in undercover operations to stop prescription drug fraud by people using TennCare to traffic drugs at taxpayers’ expense,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Thomas A. Thomas is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, 2,148 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."