FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Lawrence County man is charged for a second time with TennCare fraud for obtaining medical treatment and using his son’s TennCare benefits to pay for them.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Maury County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of 33-year old David Wayne Byrd, Sr., of Westpoint.
He is charged in a Maury County indictment with seven counts of TennCare fraud, seven counts of identity theft and one count of theft of services. Charges accuse him of obtaining medical services for himself in Columbia, Tennessee, presenting his minor child’s TennCare card for payment of services.
Byrd was arrested in July after an indictment in Lawrence County charging him with 14 counts of TennCare fraud, 14 counts of identity theft, and six counts of theft of services. In that case, Byrd is accused of obtaining medical assistance benefits for himself at Crockett General Hospital, Team Health Emergency Room, Southern Radiology Associates and Lawrence County Ambulance Services, using his minor child’s TennCare card for payment of services.
“The Office of Inspector General has open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to stopping the crime of TennCare fraud.”
Identity theft and theft of services over $1,000 but less than $10,000 is a Class D felony that carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison per charge. Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. District Attorney Mike Bottoms will prosecute both cases.
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."