Meigs County Woman Charged With TennCare Fraud

Friday, December 6, 2013
Tonya Jillane Bunch
Tonya Jillane Bunch

A Meigs County woman is charged with TennCare fraud related to selling prescription drugs paid for by the state’s Medicaid program. 

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Friday announced the arrest of Tonya Jillane Bunch, 39, of Decatur.  The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.

Ms. Bunch is charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a schedule III controlled substance.  According to the indictment, Ms. Bunch used TennCare healthcare insurance benefits to pay for a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, part of which she later sold.

“Prescription drug fraud is a crime local police across Tennessee are working against every day, and we join their efforts when TennCare is involved,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.  “We are intent on stopping this activity in the TennCare program.”

District Attorney General Russell Johnson is prosecuting.  TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison.   The sale of schedule III controlled substance is a Class D Felony with a possible sentence of two to four years in prison.

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 2,000 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 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."



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ATKINS, RICHMOND TANNER  5012 HIGH VALLEY DR BRENTWOOOD, 37027  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: UTC POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE --- BARCLAY, RONELL HARRIS  2506 CHAMBERLIN AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 21 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Man Pleads Guilty To Child Rape; Montgomery Gets 15 Years

A Soddy Daisy man pleaded guilty on Monday to sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape by an authority figure. Scott A. Montgomery received concurrent 15-year and six-year sentences. Montgomery, 42, of Dallas Hollow Road, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman. The indictment says the rape was of a female, who was under 13 years old when ... (click for more)

Set Up A Council On Love, Not A Council On Hate - And Response

In Mayor Berke's April 19 version of the Berke Bulletin, he announced plans to establish a Council on Hate and indicated a focus on tolerance. I beg of him to reconsider that plan. One problem in Chattanooga and in other places in America is that there are some people who have already established an informal version of a Council on Hate. I suggest that a more productive plan ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Corker And ‘The Code’

Of all the vows, pledges, and bonds born unto the human race, nothing overrides “The Code.” It is an unwritten but deeply important knowledge that men should abide with equal respect, fierce loyalty, and chivalrous understanding of one another. For example, The Code dictates you must not and can never date a good friend’s ex-girlfriend, or ex-wife. Rather, you respect your friend ... (click for more)

Moc Golfers Tied For 2nd at SoCon Championships

It was a cold, miserable, soggy day at Pinehurst No. 9 for the second round of the Southern Conference Men’s Golf Championships. It showed for the Chattanooga Mocs as they dropped into a tie for second with ETSU at 594. “We got off to a great start over the first three or four holes and I thought this could be a really good day,” Coach Mark Guhne began. “Then we started to ... (click for more)

McCallie Hires Former CCS Coach David Conrady

Veteran coach David Conrady will take over as the McCallie Blue Tornado varsity basketball coach for the 2018-2019 season, bringing an experienced leader and motivator to the Ridge to lead the Blue Tornado basketball program, school officials said. Conrady, who comes to McCallie from Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas, replaces John Shulman, who left McCallie following ... (click for more)