Franklin County Man Arrested for TennCare Fraud
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the arrest of Jimmy Dale Wiggs, 59, of Estill Springs, after a joint investigation with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Wiggs is accused of obtaining the painkiller Oxycodone and later selling a portion to a confidential informant. He is charged with TennCare fraud, felony sale/delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance and felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. The prescription was obtained through Medicare Part B, which is paid for in part by TennCare.
“Oxycodone is the third most frequently prescribed controlled substance in Tennessee, according to state statistics,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re cracking down on people using TennCare to finance their drug habit or to put these drugs on the street for illegal sale.”
District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting. 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, 2,879 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 website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”