NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hancock County man is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with selling prescription drugs he obtained using TennCare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Larry Seal, 35, of Sneedville. He is charged with using TennCare benefits to obtain the painkiller Oxymorphone, which is a Schedule II controlled substance, then selling the drugs on four separate occasions.
Seal is charged with four counts of TennCare fraud. The prescriptions were obtained through Medicare Part B which is paid for in part by TennCare.
“TennCare resources should not be funding the opioid crisis,”Inspector General Kim Harmon said.
“The Office of Inspector General works diligently with other local and state agencies to deter prescriptions being diverted to the streets.”
District Attorney General Dan E. Armstrong is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.
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, 3,115 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/oig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”