CARROLL CO. OFFICIAL INDICTED ON TENNCARE FRAUD CHARGES
NASHVILLE – A public official in Carroll County has been indicted for TennCare fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the indictment of the Carroll County Register of Deeds on charges of TennCare fraud and theft of services.
Governor Phil Bredesen created the Office of Inspector General, one of the first units of its kind in the nation, in 2004. Since it became operational in February 2005, 240 people have been charged with TennCare fraud, leading to 63 convictions for TennCare fraud and 14 cases resolved.
Judy Baker, 62, of 275 Veterans Drive in Huntingdon, Tennessee was scheduled for arraignment today in Carroll Circuit Court, but through her attorney waived the reading of the indictment and her right to be present.
The two count indictment charges that while acting as the power of attorney for Ruth D. McKenzie, Baker committed theft of services and TennCare fraud by intentionally not reporting a transfer of property that would have rendered the McKenzie ineligible for TennCare. The value of the TennCare medical benefits unlawfully obtained was more than $10,000 but less than $60,000.
“We are finding individuals from all walks of life abusing TennCare and we’ll seek charges against them regardless of their community stature,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We have a zero tolerance policy, and that’s what it takes to protect the integrity of the TennCare program.”
If convicted, Baker could be sentenced to up to six years on the Class C felony of theft of services, and an additional two years on the Class E felony charge of fraudulently obtaining TennCare services. Carroll County District Attorney Gus Radford has specially appointed the Legal Division of the Office of Inspector General to prosecute the case.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tennessee.gov/tenncare and follow the prompts that read “Report Fraud Now.”