2 Middle Tennessee women charged in TennCare fraud cases

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two middle Tennessee women are charged for a second time with TennCare fraud related to prescription drugs.

The separate TennCare fraud case arrests were announced Thursday by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that one arrest was made in McMinn County while the other was made in Coffee County.

Thurman and Hargrove

Erica Thurman (left) and Vicki Hargrove

Erica Thurman, 29, of McMinn County is charged in nearby Knox County with TennCare doctor shopping, according to a press release. The release states she allegedly went to several providers to get similar prescriptions for controlled substances, using TennCare as payment. Thurman was first arrested in March of 2015 and pleaded guilty on charges of doctor shopping and obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to the release. She was sentenced to serve two years in prison, but paroled this month, the release states. Officials say, upon her release, she was immediately transported to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office where she was served with the current charges.

The second woman, Vicki Hargrove, 34, of Coffee County, is charged in Moore County with fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance by doctor shopping and she was charged with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, according to the release. Hargrove was arrested in February in Coffee County on an indictment for TennCare fraud in connection with obtaining Hydrocodone and Oxycodone by means of doctor shopping, according to the release. Officials say she pleaded guilty and was placed on two years’ probation.

“Eliminating the abuse of TennCare benefits, especially to obtain pain medications, is one of our main priorities,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Local police, providers and the healthcare community are with us in our effort to weed out this problem within the TennCare program.”

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, according to the release.

TennCare fraud can reported by anyone by calling 1-800-433-3982 or by reporting TennCare fraud here. Follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”

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