Jefferson Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

A Jefferson County woman eluded police for four and a half years, but now she’s been arrested in Sevier County in connection with TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of sheriff’s offices in Sevier and Jefferson counties, today announced the arrest of Brittany N. Gottschalk, 24, of Dandridge. She was indicted by a Sevier County Grand Jury in January of 2013, when she was charged with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping. Authorities say Gottschalk was doctor shopping for Tylenol with codeine, using TennCare as payment.

“We want to send a strong message across Tennessee and beyond that the citizens of Tennessee have set forth a zero tolerance policy for TennCare fraud and abuse – and we intend to aggressively enforce it,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We intend to help preserve TennCare for the people who truly need it.”

District Attorney General James Dunn is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony punishable by up to two years in prison per charge.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,882 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”

Source: Nashville

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