|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A woman wanted for TennCare fraud has been apprehended after two months of eluding authorities. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and officers with the Sevier County Sheriff today announced the arrest of Candice S. Whiteman, 26, of Sevierville.
Whiteman is charged by a Sevier County Grand Jury in a September indictment with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services. The charges say she managed to get TennCare benefits for herself by claiming her two underage children were dependents living in her household, when the children are actually living outside the U.S. and not in her custody.
"We´re intent on bringing every TennCare fraud case to justice, no matter how long it takes to track down a person charged with this crime," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and theft of services more than $1,000 but less than $10,000 is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General James B. Dunn is prosecuting.
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 1,300 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."