A DeKalb County woman charged with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs was sentenced in DeKalb County Criminal Court on Tuesday.
28 year old Ashley Morgan entered a plea to TennCare Fraud and received a two year sentence all suspended to supervised probation. The term is to run concurrently with a Cannon County sentence against her. She must forfeit her TennCare benefits and make restitution of $1,187.71.
Morgan was first charged with doctor shopping in DeKalb County this past April. She was indicted by the DeKalb County Grand Jury on April 6, 2015 for TennCare Fraud. At that time she lived on Gassaway Road, Liberty. According to the DeKalb County indictment, Morgan unlawfully obtained or attempted to obtain on or about June 14, 2014 a prescription from a healthcare provider and failed to disclose to that healthcare provider that she had received a prescription for a controlled substance of similar therapeutic use from another healthcare provider within the previous 30 days, and she did use TennCare to obtain the benefit, constituting the offense TennCare Fraud.
Morgan was indicted for the same crime in Cannon County in October. In that case, the Cannon County Grand Jury indicted her on three counts of fraudulently obtaining controlled substances by doctor shopping for the painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the clinical visits.
“When individuals go from doctor to doctor to obtain prescription drugs through TennCare benefits, state dollars are involved in illegal drug sales,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We appreciate and value the hard work of the healthcare providers and the local law enforcement across the state and their efforts in helping us develop these cases.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,455 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 go to http://www.tn.gov/finance/topic/fa-oig.