FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in nearby Wilson County. Authorities say Toni R. Petty, 42, of Hermitage, claimed to have a child in her home for the purpose of making herself eligible for TennCare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the Petty’s arrest, with assistance from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services.
“Lying to get TennCare benefits will land a person in jail,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “It’s just a matter of time before people engaging in this crime are discovered and charged – and conviction can mean losing the right to apply for TennCare in the future.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson 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 1,800 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."