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Strange charged with TennCare fraud

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By The Staff

Staff reports

A Roane County man has been charged with TennCare fraud for attempting to use TennCare to pay for forged prescriptions.

Brian Everette Strange, 38, of Kingston, was arrested, according to the Tennessee Office of Inspector General.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office assisted in his arrest.

Strange is accused of using the personal identifying information of his physician by presenting forged prescriptions to a local pharmacy in Lenoir City.

He received the narcotic pain reliever Ultram, which is used to treat chronic severe pain, and the sleeping medication Lunesta.

He used TennCare to pay for the drugs.

Strange is accused of doing this while he was out of jail on bond in an unrelated forgery case.

Strange is accused of three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of identity theft.

District Attorney Russell Johnson will be prosecuting the case, according to state officials.

If convicted, Strange could face up to two years per charge on the TennCare fraud charges and up to four years for each of his three counts of identity theft.

“We are intent on catching and prosecuting people who use TennCare to obtain drugs they were not prescribed — or drugs they want to sell to other people,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.

“In the war against TennCare fraud, this is one of our most intense efforts,” she added.

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.

Tipsters can also log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.