Nashville, TN (207-07-07) Two residents from Fentress County are among five persons recently charged with TennCare fraud.
Thomas Jeffrey Bonneau, age 49, and Peggy L. Stockton-Frazier, age 72, both of Jamestown, have been charged following an investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which was assisted by the Fentress County Sheriff’s Office.
Bonneau has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud, three counts of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and three counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. Bonneau is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Morphine and selling a portion to an undercover informant on three separate occasions.
Stockton-Frazier has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for using TennCare to obtain the painkiller morphine and later selling a portion to an undercover informant. Officials say she obtained the prescription using Medicare Part B, which TennCare assists with.
District Attorney General Jared Effler will be prosecuting the Fentress County cases.
“The fraudulent misuse of TennCare pharmacy benefits is a serious problem in local communities across Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes.”
TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,869 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 visit the agency’s website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”