|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Williamson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud, with charges saying she lied to the state in order to obtain TennCare healthcare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Yovonda S. Chambers, 40, of Franklin. Chambers turned herself in at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, with bond set at $20,000.
She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for allegedly obtaining TennCare medical services by falsely reporting she had a child, in order to appear eligible for TennCare benefits.
“The message being sent by the Office of Inspector General is simple -- if you lie, cheat or steal to get TennCare benefits, you risk going to jail or prison,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People who commit TennCare fraud are taking something they are not entitled to, and they are taking it from the taxpayers of Tennessee.”
District Attorney General Kim R. Helper will prosecute. If convicted, Heard could serve up to two years for the TennCare fraud charge, which is a Class E felony.
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."