|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Shelby County woman accused of getting TennCare healthcare insurance benefits, even though she wasn’t eligible for TennCare, has pleaded guilty to TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 27-year old Tjuanna Coburn of Bartlett pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud. She must repay the TennCare program $12,000.00 for benefits paid on her behalf during the time she was wrongfully enrolled in the program. She also received a two-year judicial diversion.
Coburn was indicted on a TennCare fraud charge in July of last year when she was accused of making false statements for over three years in order to obtain TennCare medical assistance benefits that she was not entitled to receive.
“We have zero tolerance for people who lie about their financial or other issues in order to take something funded by taxpayers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are pursuing and prosecuting type cases like this all across the state.”
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 1,600 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."