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Maury County Woman Charged With Tenncare Fraud

NASHVILLE, TN – A Maury County woman is charged in an indictment out of Marshall County with TennCare fraud and obtaining controlled substances by fraud. 

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tamika Michelle Claybourne, 38, of Columbia.  The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the arrest. 

Claybourne is charged with eight counts each of TennCare fraud and obtaining controlled substances by fraud. She is accused of fraudulently obtaining prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, also known as Lortab, which was paid for by TennCare. 

“Strong and addictive painkillers are at the center of the concern about prescription drug fraud and abuse,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.  “We are weeding this out of the TennCare program.” 

District Attorney General Robert Carter will prosecute.  If convicted, Claybourne could serve up to two years per charge for the TennCare fraud, a Class E felony.  Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, carrying a possible sentence of two to four years per charge. 

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, over 1,700 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/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."