FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Mississippi woman is charged in Memphis with TennCare fraud.
A Shelby County Grand Jury has charged Angel Brown, 32, of Horn Lake, Mississippi, with three counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property. The Office of Inspector General and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest.
Charges say that Brown unlawfully and knowingly obtained TennCare healthcare insurance benefits, even though she was not actually eligible for the program.
“The Office of Inspector General intends to prosecute anyone, regardless of where they live, if they lie to get enrolled in TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “People who cross the state line to gain access to the TennCare program will be prosecuted.”
Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. The theft of property over $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich will prosecute.
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."