WOMAN CHARGED WITH AIDING AND ABETTING TENNCARE FRAUD
Knox, Marion Co. residents plead guilty
NASHVILLE, TN - A Lewisburg woman has been charged with aiding and abetting TennCare fraud, along with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and conspiracy to commit a felony.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 38-year old Jennifer L. Stinnett of Lewisburg. 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, 311 people have been charged with TennCare fraud. The OIG is an agency separate from the TennCare bureau.
Stinnett was indicted by a Marshall County Grand Jury on 13 counts of obtaining or attempting to obtain the addictive painkiller hydrocodone by fraud; nine counts of attempting to obtain another drug, an antibiotic, by fraud; and eight counts of aiding or attempting to aid another person to commit fraud by picking up forged prescriptions paid for by TennCare. If convicted Stinnett could face up to six years in prison for each of the 13 Class E felony counts involving TennCare fraud and up to 13 years for the other charges, which are also felonies. District Attorney Mike McCown and Assistant District Attorney Eddie Bernard of Marshall County are prosecuting.
In two unrelated cases, people charged with TennCare fraud have pleaded guilty and received sentencing. Angela Wooten of Marion County pleaded guilty to theft of services related to TennCare fraud. Wooten was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended to four years supervised probation and she must repay TennCare $8,628.31 as well as serve 100 hours of community service. Wooten was arrested in August on two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services for concealing that she could have purchased health care insurance at her workplace, but signed up for TennCare instead. She was also accused of intentionally obtaining over $10,000 in medical services by false pretense.
Tia Thigpen, a Knox County resident charged earlier this year with TennCare fraud, pleaded guilty and received three years suspended with probation and a fine of $2,000.
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.”