Two women charged with TennCare fraud

Nashville, TN- Two women from Hamilton County were charged with TennCare fraud.

One of the women is charged with attempting to use TennCare to pay for a forged prescription; and in the other case, a woman is charged with selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of Tywanna Cal, 37 and Lashaunda N. Knight, 36, both of Chattanooga.  These arrests were assisted by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office.

Tywanna Cal, was charged with TennCare fraud for using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxymorphone, later selling a portion to an undercover informant.

Lashaunda Knight is charged with TennCare fraud and forgery in connection with submitting a forged prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone and attempting to use TennCare benefits to pay for the forgery.

“Prescription drug fraud is prevalent across the state and the nation, but we are not going to allow it to be subsidized by TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “We’re getting outstanding help from local police in identifying these cases.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is prosecuting.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,388 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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