Two Charged with TennCare Fraud in Weakley County
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people are charged in Weakley County with TennCare fraud related to allegedly selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Oswaldo Rodriguez, 46, and Crystal R. Lecrone, 25, both of Dresden.
They are charged separately by a Weakley County Grandy Jury. Rodriguez is accused of using TennCare to obtain Neurontin, a drug used in certain cases for extreme pain management. Lecrone is accused of using TennCare benefits to pay for her prescription of the painkiller Hydrocodone. After obtaining the prescriptions, both Rodriguez and Lecrone resold a portion of the pills to an undercover agent.
“Some of these pain-relieving medications can have lethal side effects in certain people, and should not be dispensed without medical reason,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “This is a serious crime we are pursuing across the state.”
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, 2,188 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."