Mississippi Woman Must Repay TennCare
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Mississippi woman charged with TennCare fraud for claiming to live in Tennessee must now repay the state for TennCare benefits received.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced a court order for Donna Swindle, 51, of Southaven, Mississippi, to repay TennCare $13,236.78 for benefits she and her family received while they were on the program. A Shelby County Criminal Court also sentenced Swindle to three years of probation.
Swindle was arrested in November 2016 after an OIG investigation revealed that she falsified her TennCare application and recertification documents by saying she lived in Tennessee, even though she and her family lived in Mississippi. She was charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property over $10,000. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted this case.
“The TennCare program is solely for the citizens of the state of Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “Anyone who comes across the state line to fraudulently obtain these benefits will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,854 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”