FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Mississippi woman charged with falsifying statements in order to make herself eligible for TennCare must now repay the state. She and a Maryville woman have been sentenced for committing TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Angela Brown, 32, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, was ordered to repay the state for benefits she received while she was on TennCare. A Shelby County Criminal Court ordered her to repay a total of $24,337.57 as part of her sentence on charges that she knowingly applied for TennCare benefits even though she lived in Mississippi and was not eligible for the program. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich prosecuted the case.
In a case in upper east Tennessee, a Blount County woman must also repay the state after being accused of receiving TennCare benefits even though she was not eligible. Amanda Church, 26, of Maryville, was ordered to repay $12,834.85, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud, a Class E felony and theft of services over $1,000, a Class D felony. She also received three years of probation. District Attorney General Mike Flynn prosecuted the case.
“The TennCare program is solely for the citizens of the State of Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Anyone who comes across the state line to fraudulently get these benefits will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
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 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."