Tammy Colbert Charged With TennCare Fraud

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Tammy Colbert
Tammy Colbert

A Hamilton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping, a crime that involves going to multiple doctors to obtain controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Thursday announced the arrest of Tammy Colbert, 54, of Chattanooga.  The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrest. 

Ms. Colbert is charged with eight counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by doctor shopping, with the provider visits, prescriptions or both being paid for with TennCare.  In addition, Ms. Colbert was charged with seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

“Prescription drug fraud has been a significant burden on the health care system,” Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said.  “We’re committed to eliminating this crime in the TennCare program, and local police and providers across the state are working with us in the effort.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.  Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a class D felony that carries a penalty of up to four years in prison per charge.  District Attorney General Neal Pinkston 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 TennCare, according to latest figures.  To date, 2,174 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."

                                                                                        


Man Charged With 2000 Murder In East Ridge Is Returned To Chattanooga

A man charged in a murder in East Ridge that happened over 16 years ago has been returned to Chattanooga. Jason Kirk Sanford, who is now 43, is set to appear in the courtroom of Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz on Sept. 8. Sanford, who had moved to Westland, Mich., is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2000 death of Sarah Lea Davis Perry. Ms. Perry was 21 ... (click for more)

Raymond Facing Multiple Charges After Car Break-In At Rainbow Lake Parking Area

Kenneth Edward Raymond is facing multiple charges after a car was broken into at the Rainbow Lake parking area. James Bryan Miller was also charged. Raymond, 47, of 6719 Hickory Trace Circle, is charged with burglary of an auto, vandalism over $500, identity theft, attempted theft over $500, four counts of theft under $500, three counts of attempted theft under $500, and seven ... (click for more)

Proud To Be A Conservative Conservationist

I was born and raised in Chattanooga and was brought up to be a Tennessee conservative. That means that my family conserved our spending, our resources, and yes, even our environment.  I think we were inspired to do so because Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the entire United States. We have stunning mountains, wild rivers and quiet backcountry. And many of ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Georgia’s Weak Attacked

The United States Attorney’s Office and our nation’s Justice Department just thrust an unwelcomed spear into the heart of the state of Georgia. And while I am scared to death the same war party is now headed into Tennessee and other states, I wish the DOJ had stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and a quick visit at our Orange Grove Center before filing last Tuesday’s lawsuit against ... (click for more)

Lookouts' Bullpen Failure Leads To Come-From-Behind Win For Suns Sunday

The Lookouts were in control of  Sunday  afternoon's game up until the eighth and ninth inning when the M-Braves scored three runs to beat Chattanooga, 5-4. Chattanooga's offense jumped out to an early lead after being sparked by leadoff hitter Zach Granite. Granite started the home half of the first with a base hit to right field, danced on and off of first base ... (click for more)

Mocs Volleyball Sweeps Chattanooga Classic

The Chattanooga Mocs volleyball team completed their fourth 3-0 sweep of the weekend on Sunday afternoon against California State at Fullerton as part of the Chattanooga Classic – presented by Hampton Inn & Suites - held in Maclellan Gym. The Mocs came out swinging by winning the first set 25-11 and then went on to win 25-18 and 25-17 in sets two and three, respectively. ... (click for more)