Two men in Bradley County are charged with selling prescription drugs, with one of the men accused of using TennCare to pay for the drugs at the pharmacy.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday announced the arrests of Roberto Veloz, Jr., 44, of Cleveland, and Richard M. Worley, Jr., 64, of Charleston. The arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.
Veloz is charged with TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule III controlled substance, and delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance. He is accused of using TennCare benefit to obtain the painkiller Hydrocodone, later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent.
Worley is charged with unlawful possession of the painkiller Oxycodone, some of which he later sold to an undercover agent. He is also charged with sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance.
“Tennesseans have determined this type of criminal activity is unacceptable, especially in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General R. Steven Bebb is prosecuting.
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."