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Wilson County woman charged with TennCare drug fraud

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A Wilson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for filling fraudulent prescriptions and using TennCare to pay for them.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with the Wilson County Sheriffs Department, on Wednesday announced the arrest of Tiffany N. Ferguson, 27, of Lebanon.

Ferguson is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.The charges against Ferguson allege that on two separate occasions she presented an altered prescription for the painkiller Percocet, using TennCare to pay for certain services.

Our message is clear: if you commit fraud against the TennCare program and the taxpayers youre going to be caught and prosecuted, Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.Local officials, providers and law enforcement, as well as citizens, are behind us and assisting us in our efforts across the state.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney Tom P. Thompson 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."

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