TWO SHELBY COUNTY RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE – In two unrelated cases, a man and woman in Shelby County have been charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of a woman who had turned down health care insurance through her employer to remain on TennCare … and a man who failed to report his income in order to qualify for TennCare.
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, 261 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
“Our criminal investigations unit continues to pursue cases across Tennessee, working with local officials to crack down on TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People who try to get on TennCare – or stay on the program – by intentionally misrepresenting income or access to other insurance are going to be prosecuted for TennCare fraud.”
Linda Blair, 36, of Memphis is accused of TennCare fraud and felony theft of property for unlawfully and knowingly obtaining TennCare even though in reality she was not eligible and concealing material facts. If convicted, she could be sentenced to up to six years on the theft charge and an additional two years for TennCare fraud, a Class E felony.
In a separate case, 52-year old James Hyatt is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property for unlawfully and knowingly obtaining TennCare benefits that he was not entitled to. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to four years on the theft charge and an additional two years on the TennCare fraud charge.
Bond for both Hyatt and Blair was set at $2,500 each. Both Hyatt and Blair will be prosecuted by District Attorney General William L. Gibbons.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.”