NASHVILLE, TN – A Montgomery County woman is charged with TennCare fraud related to prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Amber Jean Norris, 28, of Clarksville.
A Montgomery County Grand Jury indicted Norris on one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Charges say Norris used TennCare to pay for a prescription of the painkiller Hydrocodone, which she obtained with a fraudulent prescription.
“Drug fraud is a serious crime, and there can be serious repercussions when a person is caught in the act and using TennCare to facilitate the crime,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony that carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General John W. Carney 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, over 1,700 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.”
Warning signs of Hydrocodone addiction:
- Behavior changes, such as becoming hostile, volatile, agitated or anxious.
- Physical withdrawal symptoms, flu-like symptoms like joint and muscle pain, night sweats and insomnia.
- More pills are needed for the same desired effect.
- Withdrawal from friends, family. Especially if someone suggests there is a problem.
- Money problems associated with having to purchase more and more pills. They often become dealers of drugs to support drug addiction.