NASHVILLE, TN – A Lauderdale County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Anita Louise Williams, 59, of Halls, with the assistance of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation with the Dyersburg Police Department.
Williams is charged with TennCare fraud, with an indictment accusing her of filling a prescription for the painkiller Morphine, using TennCare to pay for the drugs, while planning to sell at least a portion of the drugs.
“Law enforcement officers across the state are working with us to catch people committing drug fraud and using TennCare to subsidize the crime,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Communities want prescription drugs off the streets, and we’re targeting the use of TennCare in drug fraud crimes.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General D. Michael Dunavant 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.”