Volume 51, Number 29

eighteen pages

Byrdstown, Tennessee 38549 -- Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pickett woman charged with aiding and abetting Tenncare fraud

Pickett woman charged with aiding and abetting Tenncare fraudA Pickett County woman is accused of aiding and abetting a friend in his illegal attempt to acquire controlled substances.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) this week announced the arrests of Bobbie Alvarado Olivas, 37, and Michael E. Perdue, 20, both of Byrdstown. Their arrests were assisted by the Pickett County Sheriff’s Department.
Arrest information says that twice in January, two prescriptions were phoned into a Pickett County pharmacy in Perdue’s name. The prescriptions were for the painkiller Hydrocodone, and TennCare benefits were used to pay for both forged prescriptions. Bobbie Olivas is accused of having the prescriptions delivered to her on Perdue’s behalf. She’s been charged with three counts of TennCare fraud for aiding and abetting Perdue in his efforts to obtain the controlled substances. Perdue has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud for using his TennCare benefits to pay for forged prescriptions.
“For many years, people worked the system to illegally obtain prescription drugs, but now we have laws on the books to stop this activity,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are aggressively pursuing these cases to help rid communities of prescription drug fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Randal A. York 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 1,600 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."

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