FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Cheatham County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in two separate incidents where she’s accused of falsely claiming a dependent in order to qualify for TennCare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Brittney Diane Hooberry, 25, of Ashland City. She is charged in indictments from Cheatham and Wilson Counties with TennCare fraud and theft of services. In both counties, Hooberry is accused of falsely claiming her child lived with her as a dependent, making her eligible for TennCare benefits.
“People who misrepresent something about their current situation in order to attempt to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a felony and a conviction could mean jail time and repaying the state for any medical services received and possibly losing the privilege of applying for TennCare in the future, regardless of eligibility.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The theft of services charge is a Class D felony and could result in a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson, Jr. will be prosecuting the Wilson County case. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks will prosecute the Cheatham County Case.
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 1,900 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."