Round-up of 24 people charged with TennCare fraud

tsj POLICE REPORTSNASHVILLE (press release)—A statewide round-up of suspects has netted two dozen arrests of suspects charged with TennCare fraud. The suspects are charged in various counties on numerous TennCare fraud charges, including under-reporting income, claiming living out of state, failing to disclose resource information and transferring property in order to qualify for TennCare, doctor shopping, presenting forged prescriptions or selling prescriptions. all received using TennCare benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a statewide roundup that recently concluded, with special agents fanning out across the state to crack down on those who had an outstanding warrant for TennCare fraud. The roundup is part of a new approach to take people into custody soon after an indictment by a grand jury and to locate and arrest fugitives.

“We want everyone to know that if someone is involved in committing TennCare fraud, the chance of getting caught has increased substantially,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Our office will investigate, prosecute and arrest those who abuse the TennCare program. It should also be noted that investigations and arrests have been expedited because of the efforts of local law enforcement agencies to assist the OIG in combating TennCare fraud.”

OIG Special Agent teams were positioned in all three grand divisions of the state—East, Middle, West—with a list of individuals wanted along with identifying information and warrants. The toughest task was finding the people they were trying to serve, because so many had multiple addresses.

Those arrested are:

–Hershel P. Turner, 60, of Crossville, charged with TennCare fraud and delivery of the painkiller Oxycodone. Turner used TennCare benefits to obtain the drug, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.

–Crystal R. Walton, 25, of Lavergne, charged in Rutherford County with five counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, which involves seeing multiple providers in a short period of time to obtain controlled substances.

–Martha Wofford, 60, of Ponca, Oklahoma, charged by a Lake County Grand Jury with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $60,000, which is a Class B felony. Wofford is accused of fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits for her uncle, for whom she had Power of Attorney, by failing to disclose to the state certain resource information and the transfer of property so her uncle would appear eligible for TennCare.

–Elizabeth Lamb, 36, of Decatur, charged in both Hamilton and McMinn Counties with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment, and it’s her third round of TennCare fraud charges. Lamb was charged in Hamilton County with two counts of doctor shopping along with two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Upon making bond, Lamb was transported to McMinn County, where she was charged with two counts of doctor shopping, using TennCare as payment. She was first arrested in March in Meigs County and her second TennCare fraud arrest was a month later in Bradley County, where she was charged with two counts of doctor shopping.

–Tondalaya Snyder, 37, of Jackson, charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and theft of property under $10,000. She’s accused of failing to disclose her husband’s full-time employment to the state in order for her minor children to be eligible for TennCare benefits.

–Brittany L. Atkins, 24, of White Pine, charged for the second time with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. A Hamblen County Grand Jury charged her with four counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping.  Atkins was first arrested in May on an indictment in Cocke County charging her with doctor shopping. In both incidents, Atkins used TennCare to pay for either the clinical visits or the prescriptions.

–Cathie S. Carter, 60, of Chickamauga, Georgia, charged by a Hamilton County Grand Jury with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. Carter is accused of fraudulently reporting to the state that she and her daughter resided in Tennessee in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits, when in fact they both reside in Georgia.

–Amanda N. Henderson, 31, of Ridgely, charged in Tipton County with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping.

–Toni Kennedy, 23, of Knoxville, charged in Knox County with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping.  In addition, Kennedy has been charged with three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

–Glenda L. Ellis, 50, of Memphis, charged in Hardin County with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain the painkillers Lortab and Tramadol by doctor shopping.

–Decara Harding, 30, of LaVergne, charged in Rutherford County with nine counts of TennCare fraud. She’s accused of presenting forged prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodone on nine separate occasions, and using TennCare to pay for the forgeries.

–Steven L. Osborne, 57, of Lawrenceburg, charged in Lawrence County with TennCare fraud. He’s accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion of the drugs.

–Amy L. Smith, 43, of Cleveland, charged in Bradley County with two counts of TennCare fraud, She is accused of using TennCare on two separate occasions to obtain Opana, a narcotic pain medication, and selling a portion to an undercover agent.

–April D. Cook, 42, of Bluff City, indicted in Sullivan County on four counts of TennCare fraud and ten counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The indictment says that over the course of about 17 months, she used her position at a doctor’s office to issue fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances in the name of another TennCare enrollee.

–Christi Vaughn, 54, of Lawrenceburg, charged in Lawrence County with TennCare fraud for using her TennCare benefits to obtain Alprazolam and later selling a portion of the drugs.

–Brian K. Young, 51, of Lebanon, charged in Wilson County with two counts of TennCare fraud for allegedly using TennCare benefits on two separate occasions to obtain Suboxone and later selling a portion to an undercover informant. Suboxone is a narcotic drug that reverses the effects of other narcotic medicines and is used to treat addiction to drugs like heroin.

–Joseph A. Ventrini, Sr., 49, of Southaven, Mississippi, charged in Shelby County Grand with three counts of TennCare fraud and theft of services under $10,000. Charges say he reported to the state that he was a resident of Tennessee in order to qualify for TennCare benefits, when in fact, he was living in Southaven, Mississippi.

–Sarah E. Rogers, 30, of Friendsville, charged in Knox County with fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping. She is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

–Casey W. Millsaps, 21, of Soddy Daisy, charged in Hamilton County with eight counts of TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare as payment.

–Stephen T. Capley, 18, of Culleoka, charged in Lawrence County with five counts of TennCare fraud for using TennCare benefits to obtain and later sell Vyvanse, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit that’s often abused for its stimulant effect.

–Kurtrever Eddings, 43, of Lebanon, charged in Wilson County with two counts of TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits on two separate occasions to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover agent.

–Sharris N. Thompson, 31, of St. Mary, Ohio, charged in Lawrenceburg with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping. She was found in Ohio after fleeing the state after the indictment was handed down in May. She’s also charged with being a fugitive from justice for the outstanding warrants in Lawrenceburg.  She is currently being held at Auglaize County Jail in Ohio waiting for extradition back to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

In addition, two individuals who had been arrested for TennCare fraud but failed to make court appearances were taken into custody:

–Robin S. Brumett, 50, of Alamo, charged in June of 2014 in Gibson County with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping.

–Bronson Roberts, 41, of Lebanon, charged in April with TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone and later selling a portion of the prescription.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. See more at: http://tn.gov/news/16581#sthash.m77235Lj.dpuf

 

 

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