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Two in Memphis Charged with TennCare Fraud in Drug Cases

Monday, January 05, 2015 | 08:24am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people in Memphis are charged in separate cases involving TennCare fraud and prescription drugs.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrests:

  • Damikio Martin, 39, of Memphis, charged with 12 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping, as well as theft of property.  Martin is accused of going to multiple doctors in a short period of time in order to obtain controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
  • Lakesheya Smith, also known as Lakesheya Nelson, age 32, of Memphis, charged with seven counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment.

“Prescription drug abuse is public enemy number one in communities across the state,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “Healthcare providers and local law enforcement across the state are working with us to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich 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, 2,254 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