|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Davidson County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced the Davidson County arrest of Marquita C. Blakemore, 36 of Nashville. She was indicted on one count of TennCare fraud, a Class E felony and one count of theft of services, a Class D felony.
The indictment charges that Blakemore received medical services she was not entitled to receive valued at up to $10,000 and that she received the services by making a false statement or representation, by concealing a material fact, or by other fraudulent means.
"People who misrepresent themselves to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
If convicted, Blakemore could be sentenced to up to four years on the theft of services charge, and two years on the TennCare fraud charge. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III will prosecute. Blakemore turned herself into the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and was booked in the Davidson County Sheriff's Office and released after posting a $25,000.00 bond.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 820 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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 TennCare Fraud."