FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Roane County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting her income in order to be eligible for healthcare insurance benefits through the state’s Medicaid program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the indictment and arrest of Kesha L. Perkins, 34, of Rockwood. The Roane County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrest.
Perkins is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in an indictment accusIng her of falsely reporting income to the state so she would appear eligible for TennCare and would be able to access medical benefits without paying for the services.
“The message the Office of Inspector General is sending out is this -- if you lie, cheat or steal to get TennCare benefits, you risk going to jail,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “People who commit TennCare fraud are taking something they are not entitled to, and they are taking it from all the taxpayers of Tennessee.”
If convicted, Perkins could be sentenced to up to four years on the Class D felony theft of services charge, and two years on the Class E felony TennCare fraud charge. District Attorney General Russell Johnson will be 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 the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, 2,061 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."