FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Rutherford County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft after she received healthcare insurance benefits through the program, even though she was not eligible for TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kristy Robinson, 26, of Smyrna. She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services over $10,000. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office assisted in Robinson’s arrest. Charges say she received TennCare benefits by means of willfully false statement or other fraudulent means.
“People who misrepresent something about their current situation in order to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a felony, and a conviction could mean jail time, paying the state back for any medical services received, and many times losing TennCare benefits for a period of time, even for those who qualify.”
The TennCare fraud charge carries up to a two-year sentence, and the theft of services charge could result in a sentence up to 4 years. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. is 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, over 1,700 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."