|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using her sister’s TennCare healthcare insurance benefits in order to access medical benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Metro Nashville Police, today announced the arrest of Labresha Lynne Tatum, 25, of Nashville. She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of identity theft in connection with using her sister’s identification of her sister so that TennCare might pay for her medical benefits.
“People who are not eligible for TennCare cannot use public money for their healthcare,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare members are people who have determined to deserve public healthcare insurance benefits, and we’re committed to protecting those benefits.”
District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III will prosecute. If convicted, Tatum could serve up to four years for the identity theft charge which is a Class D felony and two years for the TennCare fraud charge, which is a Class E felony.
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."