Three Giles County Residents Charged with TennCare FraudTuesday, February 14, 2012 | 12:27 pm
NASHVILLE, TN - Three people in Giles County are charged with TennCare fraud after an undercover operation.
The Office of Inspector (OIG) and the Giles County Sheriff�s Office today announced the arrests, all of which involve the sale of prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
"We dedicate much of our time and resources tracking tips and participating in undercover operations to stop people who are trying to commit prescription drug fraud, using TennCare benefits to traffic in drugs at the taxpayers� expense," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
The three arrested are:
- Lucy C. Crews, 46, of Elkton, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud, six counts of sale of a controlled substance, and one count of sale of schedule III controlled substance within a drug free zone. Crew is accused of using TennCare benefits to purchase hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drug to an undercover informant on the grounds or facility of an elementary school.
- Belinda F. McCluskey, 39, of Taft, charged with three counts of TennCare fraud, one count of sale of a schedule III controlled substance within a drug free zone, and three counts of sale of controlled substances. She�s accused of using TennCare to obtain hydrocodone, later selling a portion to an undercover informant within one thousand feet of a park.
- Brittany N. McCluskey, 20, of Ardmore, charged with one count of TennCare fraud, seven counts of sale of a controlled substance, and one count of sale of a controlled substance within a drug free zone. She�s accused of obtaining a prescription for hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the drugs, which were later sold to an undercover informant within one thousand feet of a park.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms 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, nearly 1,500 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."