|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 30, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
KNOX COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Knox County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly lying to the state to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Rhonda L. Meadows, 29, of Knoxville. Her arrest was assisted by the Knoxville Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Meadows, also known as Rhonda Lynn Maner, is accused of six counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services. An indictment alleges that through fraud, false pretense and other deceptions, she received medical services valued at up to $60,000 that she wasn’t eligible for – because she misrepresented herself on her application.
“TennCare serves people who are eligible for the program, and those who misrepresent their marital status, income or any eligibility requirement in order to qualify for this entitlement program are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
If convicted, Meadows could be sentenced to up to six years on the Class C felony theft of services charge, and two years on each Class E felony TennCare fraud charge. District Attorney Randy Nichols will prosecute.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."