Two Indicted for TennCare Fraud

August 5, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
John David Fagan
Brad Elliott Johnson
Christopher Lee Whitney

Two people named in sealed indictments by the Grand Jury have been arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department as the result of an April sting operation involving TennCare fraud.

35 year old John David Fagan of Bright Hill Road Smithville and 36 year old Brad Elliott Johnson have been indicted for TennCare Fraud. Bond for each of them is $2,500 and they will appear in DeKalb County Criminal Court for arraignment on August 16th.

The indictment's allege that on or about November 16th, 2009 in the Fagan case and February 3rd, 2010 in the Johnson matter, they unlawfully committed the offense of fraudulently obtaining TennCare Medical Assistance benefits to which they were not entitled, by knowingly obtaining a controlled substance, paid for by TennCare and concealing the material fact that they planned to sell a portion of the controlled substance in violation of state law.

Sheriff Patrick Ray says these men were arrested on charges that were brought before the August Term of the DeKalb County Grand Jury on Monday by the Tennessee Inspector General's Office from Nashville. According to Sheriff Ray, these arrests resulted from an April drug sting by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department. "My department has worked closely with the Inspector General's Office in Nashville since the April drug sting. We turned the defendant's names into the Inspector General to see if they were obtaining any TennCare benefits and operating an illegal drug trade at the same time. We asked the state to prosecute these individuals in whichever county the crime was committed. I truly appreciate the efforts of the Inspector General's office and look forward to assisting them in their investigations.

Sheriff Ray adds that the investigation has led to the arrest of others. "There are defendants who were arrested a few months back for TennCare Fraud in other counties in which they had obtained a prescription by a doctor in that county and/or they (defendants) got their TennCare prescriptions filled in that county. "

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony with a potential sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison.

Sheriff Ray says through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. "If you suspect anyone is using TennCare benefits illegally, you are urged to call 1-800-433-3982 toll-free or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

More arrests are forthcoming.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, 36 year old Christopher Lee Whitney of Steeplechase Drive Smithville has been arrested. He was named in a grand jury sealed indictment for Identity Theft and Filing a False Report. His bond is $20,000 and he will appear in court on August 16th for arraignment.

The indictment against Whitney alleges that between August 11th and 28th, 2008, Whitney knowingly used the personal identifying information of another, Heather Whitney with intent to commit an unlawful act, obtaining or attempting to obtain credit, goods, or services in the name of such other person, constituting the offense of identify theft in violation of state law.

The indictment further alleges that Whitney initiated a report or statement to a law enforcement officer concerning an offense or incident within the officer's concern knowing that the offense or incident did not occur, constituting the offense of making a false report in violation of state law.

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