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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A pair of Middle Tennessee residents are each charged with TennCare fraud related to prescription drugs – and for each of them, it’s their second arrest for TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of McMinn County and Coffee County residents in separate TennCare fraud cases.

Erica Thurman, 29, of Athens in McMinn County, is charged in nearby Knox County with TennCare doctor shopping, which involves going to multiple providers to obtain similar prescriptions for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment. She is charged with TennCare fraud and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. District Attorney General Charme P. Allen will prosecute this case. Erica was first arrested in March of 2015 in charges from McMinn County accusing her of doctor shopping and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve two years in prison. She was paroled this month, but was immediately transported to Knox County to be served with the new charges. Upon her release May 23, 2016, she was transported to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office where she was served with the current charges.

In the other case, Vicki Hargrove, 34, of Tullahoma, is charged in Moore County with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping. In addition, she was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.  District Attorney General Robert Carter will prosecute. Hargrove was arrested just three months ago in February on an indictment in Coffee County for TennCare fraud in connection with fraudulently obtaining the painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone by means of doctor shopping. She has since plead guilty and was placed on two years’ probation.  District Attorney General Craig Northcott prosecuted the Coffee County case.

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

Three people from Davidson County, including a husband and wife, are charged with TennCare fraud. All three cases involve prescription drug fraud.

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, 2,634 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”


Chief Administrative Deputy and Sheriff’s Uncle Also Indicted


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – May 27, 2016 - Robert F. Arnold, 40, Sheriff of Rutherford County, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury along with Chief Administrative Deputy Joe L. Russell II, 49, and Arnold’s uncle, John Vanderveer, 58, of Marietta, Georgia, for their role in the formation, marketing and operation of JailCigs, LLC and the concealment and misrepresentation of Arnold and Russell’s involvement with the business, announced Jack Smith, Acting U.S. Attorney for the administration of this case and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The 14-count indictment charges Arnold, Russell and Vanderveer with honest services fraud; mail fraud; wire fraud; bribery concerning federal programs; extortion under color of official right; obstruction of justice; and conspiracy.

The indictment specifically alleges that during the period of June and July of 2014, while Arnold was running for re-election as Sheriff of Rutherford County, he received approximately four checks from JailCigs, totaling $22,634.00.  Three of these checks were deposited to the bank account of “Arnold for Rutherford County Sheriff.”

The indictment also alleges that on April 17, 2015, after learning of the media reports and pending criminal investigation, John Vanderveer met with the Tennessee sales representative for JailCigs and told her that “Joe” wanted her to destroy her commission tabulation sheets so that there would not be a record of commission payments from Rutherford County going to “Robert or any of us.”

Charges in this case carry maximum penalties of between 5-20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  An indictment is merely an accusation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecil W. VanDevender of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Mark Cipolletti of the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.



Tennessee State Parks to Host National Trails Day

Free Guided Hikes Statewide on Saturday, June 4

NASHVILLE – Tennessee State Parks will celebrate National Trails Day with free, guided hikes at all 56 parks on Saturday, June 4.

The variety of ranger-led hikes will include historical tours, waterfall viewing, trail building and much more. With more than 1,000 miles of trails ranging from easy, paved paths to rugged backcountry trails to scenic waterways, there’s a hike for everyone.

This event is hosted annually on the first Saturday in June in coordination with the American Hiking Society. The purpose is to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States.

Participants are encouraged to bring water and food, and wear long pants and appropriate footwear. To find a hike near you, visit http://tnstateparks.com/about/special-event-cards/national-trail-day.


NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has a new addition to the state’s Top Ten Most Wanted list, Marquez Travell Billingsley.

Billingsley is wanted by the Knoxville Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for aggravated assault, carjacking, aggravated robbery and possession of a stolen weapon. Billingsley is also a person of interest in the shooting death of 12-year-old JaJuan Latham that occurred on April 16th. Billingsley should be considered armed and dangerous.

Billingsley, 18, is an African American male with brown eyes and black hair. He stands 5 feet 7 and weighs approximately 120 pounds.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Marquez Billingsley is urged to call the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND (1-800-824-3463). There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Tennessee Unemployment Rates Continue To Decrease

Tennessee Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner Burns Phillips announced Thursday the Tennessee preliminary unemployment rate for April was 4.3 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point decrease from the March revised rate of 4.5 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for April was 5.0 percent, remaining unchanged from the previous month.

Over the year, nonfarm employment increased 83,800 jobs. The largest increases occurred in trade/transportation/utilities, education/health services, & professional/business services.


KNOXVILLE – A three-day operation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and detectives with the Knoxville Police Department to combat human trafficking in Knoxville has resulted in the arrest of 32 men and women on prostitution and human trafficking-related charges. Two of the men, including a children’s minister, responded to ads for what they thought were girls under the age of 18. The Knoxville anti-trafficking operation, called “Operation Someone Like Me”, is the fifth operation of its kind in the state between the TBI and partner agencies to help identify, investigate and prosecute trafficking, and rescue victims.

With the partnership including the Knoxville Police Department, Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, End Slavery Tennessee, and Second Life Chattanooga, TBI Agents and intelligence analysts embarked on an undercover operation to identify potential victims of trafficking, arrest those seeking to purchase illicit sex from a juvenile, and learn more about the specific nuances of this type of crime.

During the three-day operation, undercover Agents posted ads on Backpage.com. During that time, more than 300 contacts were made to those ads. In one ad the Agents posed as a juvenile girl. That ad received more than two dozen contacts.

With the assistance of nonprofit agencies Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, End Slavery Tennessee, and Second Life Chattanooga, the undercover operation conducted this week also identified potential victims of trafficking. The women were offered services provided by the nonprofits that include housing, counseling and addiction treatment.

Last year, Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation into law giving TBI original jurisdiction over investigations of human trafficking. Additionally, the state legislature approved funding for four Special Agents, who work exclusively to investigate human trafficking cases and train law enforcement statewide on recognizing and combating this type of crime. These four Special Agents, who have now completed their fifth operation across the state, have arrested or cited just under 100 individuals during that time.

Last year, the TBI unveiled a public awareness campaign, entitled “IT Has To Stop,” which includes online resources, public service announcements, and contact information for nonprofits who work with survivors of human trafficking. Visit www.ITHasToStop.com for more information.


Record-Breaking Number of Jobs Available In TN

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development reported Friday almost 200,000 jobs were posted on the jobs4TN.gov website in April, 2016. That marks a record number of job opportunities employers across the state have advertise on the site.

The occupations represented by thee openings include health care, computer and mathematical occupations, management positions, sales jobs, transportation occupations, business and finance, food preparation and serving jobs, personal care, building/grounds cleaning and maintenance jobs. There are a variety of job openings across the state, representing a wide range of educational and skill level requirements.

Jobs4TH.gov was initiated by Governor Bill Haslem to help Tennesseans streamline the process of finding a new career. Employers in both the public and private sectors post job opportunities on this free website.

City of Lewisburg Meetings June 2016

1. The Mayor and Council of the City of Lewisburg will hold a work session Monday, June 6th,  4:00pm, at Lewisburg City Hall, 131 East Church Street.

2. The Mayor and Council of the City of Lewisburg will hold a public hearing Tuesday, June 14th, at 5:50 p.m., followed by their regular monthly meeting, at 6:00 p.m. at Lewisburg City Hall, 131 East Church Street.

3. The Lewisburg Recreation Board will hold a regular meeting Monday, June 20th, 6:00pm at the Lewisburg Recreation Center in the small meeting room, 1551 Mooresville Highway.

4. The Community Development Board of the City of Lewisburg will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, June 28th, 12:00 noon, at the Historic 1st Avenue Building, 207 1st Avenue.

New Student Registration Scheduled For June and July

Marshall County Schools will have a NEW STUDENT ENROLLMENT DAY on Tuesday, June 7 and  Thursday, July 21, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m.

Students who have moved into the Marshall County school district may report to the schools on that day to enroll for next year.  All students must register with their legal guardian.  The schools and grade levels are listed below:

You may call the appropriate school for more information or the Marshall County Board of Education at 359-1581.


Grades K – 1:     Oak Grove Elementary School, 1645 Franklin Road, Lewisburg, TN 931-270-0892

Grades 2 – 3:      Marshall Elementary School, 401 Tiger Blvd., Lewisburg, TN 931-359-7149

Grades 4 – 6:      Westhills Elementary School, 1351 North Ellington Pkwy., Lewisburg, TN 931-359-3909

Grades 7 – 8:      Lewisburg Middle School, 500 Tiger Blvd., Lewisburg, TN 931-359-1265

Grades 9 - 12:    Marshall County High School, 661 West Ellington Pkwy., Lewisburg, TN 931-359-1549


Grades K – 6:      Cornersville Elementary School, 485 North Main Street, Cornersville, TN 931-246-4230

Grades 7 – 12:    Cornersville School, 323 South Main Street, Cornersville, TN 931-246-4170

Chapel Hill

Grades K – 3:      Chapel Hill Elementary, 415 South Horton Pkwy., Chapel Hill, TN 931-364-3435

Grades 4-6:         Delk Henson Intermediate School, 425 South Horton Pkwy., Chapel Hill TN 931-536-0491

Grades 6 – 12:   Forrest High School, 310 North Horton Pkwy., Chapel Hill, TN 931-364-7260

State of Tennessee April 2016 Revenue Report

Tennessee tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates in April. Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin announced that overall April revenues were $1.8 billion, which is $185.0 million more than the state budgeted.

On an accrual basis, April is the ninth month in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

General fund revenues were more than the budgeted estimates in the amount of $165.9 million while the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $19.1 million more than the estimates.

Sales taxes were $37.7 million more than the estimate for April and were 8.46% more than April 2015. April collections reflect retail business activity that occurred in March. For nine months revenues are $311.5 million higher than estimated. The year-to-date growth rate for nine months was 7.96%.

Year-to-date revenues for nine months were $757.1 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund recorded $698.4 million more than budgeted estimates and the four other funds were $58.7 million more than the budgeted estimate.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2015-2016 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation of December 16, 2014 and adopted by the first session of the 109th General Assembly in April 2015. Also incorporated in the estimates are any changes in revenue enacted during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

Town of Cornersville Meetings June 2016

The Town of Cornersville will have its regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on June 2, 2016 at 6:30 P.M. at Town Hall in Cornersville. This meeting is open to the public and all citizens are welcome to attend.

Offices to Close for The Memorial Day Holiday 2016


2. The office of Town Hall in Cornersville will be closed on Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day. The office will re-open on Tuesday, May 31st at the regular hour of 7:30 am.

3. All City offices will be closed in observance of Memorial Day, May 30th, 2016. The trash and recycle routes for that Monday will run one day later, due to the holiday.


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