|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Jefferson County woman has been order to repay the state for services she received from TennCare, even though she was not eligible for the program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Elizabeth L. Davis, 54, of Dandridge, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of services and two counts of TennCare fraud. She received an eight-year suspended sentence, with credit for time served and the remainder served on supervised probation. As part of her sentence, Davis was ordered to repay TennCare a total of $44,440.18 for benefits received during the time she was enrolled in the program.
Davis was arrested in May 2009 and charged for fraudulently reporting to the state that she was not employed and didn’t have insurance offered to her, not married, and that her granddaughter lived with her, all in an effort to obtain TennCare benefits and food stamps. If she had reported the facts, she would not have been eligible for TennCare, which she received for a full four years.
“Tennesseans will not tolerate paying for medical services for people who are not eligible for the benefits they’re receiving,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Tips from the public have helped us track down a number of these cases, as we follow up on every tip regardless of where it comes from.”
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn prosecuted the case.
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."