NASHVILLE, MEMPHIS RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, TN – Residents of Nashville and Memphis are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases.
The Office of Inspector (OIG) today announced the arrests, both involving charges stemming from getting and using TennCare benefits for which the accused individuals were not eligible.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the OIG, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 281 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
In Davidson County, 26-year old Tamela Crutcher was arrested on an indictment of Identity Theft for knowingly using the personal information of another TennCare enrollee to obtain medical services paid for by TennCare, and she’s charged with two counts of TennCare fraud. The indictment alleges that Crutcher impersonated a TennCare enrollee to receive treatment from St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, and to obtain prescription drugs paid for by TennCare. Crutcher is currently being held in the Correctional Development Center on unrelated charges, where she was served with the indictment. The charges against Crutcher carry up to twelve years in prison. District Attorney General Torry Johnson of Davidson County will be prosecuting.
In Shelby County, Jesse Banks, 54 of Memphis was indicted on two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services. Banks is accused of unlawfully enrolling in TennCare by concealing that he had access to health care insurance through his employer. The crime was committed before TennCare was reformed last year, which tightened eligibility. The theft of service charge against Banks is a Class C felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and the TennCare fraud is a Class E felony punishable by up to five years in prison. District Attorney General William Gibbons of Shelby County will be prosecuting Jesse Banks.
“We continue to investigate TennCare fraud tips that come to us from across Tennessee as we pursue confirmed cases and assist in prosecution of other types of fraud cases,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We encourage anyone with information regarding TennCare fraud to call our hotlines – we thoroughly follow up on each tip.”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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”