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Wilson woman accused of TennCare fraud

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

A Wilson County woman was accused of filling fraudulent prescriptions and using TennCare to pay for them.

Tiffany N. Ferguson, also known as Tiffany Wilson, 27, of Lebanon, was charged Wednesday with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of getting 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.

The state inspector general's office led the investigation leading to Ferguson’s charges.

“Our message is clear: if you commit fraud against the TennCare program – and the taxpayers – you’re 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.”

Sheriff Robert Bryan said TennCare fraud, particularly related to prescription narcotics, is increasingly common.

“You’ve seen it more and more over the past year,” said Bryan. “[Cases such as this] are really common.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.

Getting 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 Tommy Thompson is the prosecutor in the case.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and investigated cases leading to more than $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, more than 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 800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to tn.gov/tnoig and follow the "Report TennCare Fraud" prompts.

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