Blount County woman charged with TennCare fraud in Sevier
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from the Sevierville Police Department today announced the arrest of Chastity Sexton, 37, of Seymour.
Sexton is charged with TennCare fraud and seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. She is accused of presenting fraudulent prescriptions for a controlled substance on five separate occasions, each time using TennCare benefits to pay for the forged prescriptions.
“The Office of Inspector General is working with local police and medical providers to help us get this kind of activity out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General James Dunn 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 1,900 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 http://www.tn.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”