TennCare fraud roundup leads to local charges

Four people in Wilson County are charged with TennCare drug fraud after a roundup charging 83 people with prescription drug-related crimes.
Mar 20, 2014
Kyle Beckman
Robert Kemp
Thea Parker
Brandy Tomlinson

Four people in Wilson County are charged with TennCare drug fraud after a roundup charging 83 people with prescription drug-related crimes.

The arrests came after an undercover investigation involving the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Inspector.

The four charged with drug fraud involving TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, were trying to sell prescription drugs that were paid for by TennCare.

• Brandy M. Tomlinson, 31, of Lebanon, was charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a scheduled III controlled substance involving the painkiller Hydrocodone, which was paid for by TennCare and sold to an undercover informant.

• Robert Kemp, 55, of Lebanon, was charged with TennCare fraud and three counts of sale of a schedule III controlled substance for selling Hydrocodone paid for by TennCare, to an undercover informant.

• Thea C. Parker, 39, of Lebanon, was accused of using TennCare benefits to get a prescription for the painkiller Morphine and later selling a portion of the drugs to undercover informant.

• Kyle G. Beckman, 25, of Mt. Juliet, was charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a scheduled III controlled substance for selling Subutex, a drug used to wean morphine addicts, which was paid for by TennCare, to an undercover informant.

“Local law enforcement officials have been invaluable in our mission to stop TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “By pooling resources with local officials, we are covering much more ground and making more progress in tackling the drug fraud problem, especially when people try to use public dollars to finance it.”

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

District Attorney General Tommy Thompson 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, 2,069 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 prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

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