Shelby Co. Man Charged with TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | 3:22pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Shelby County man is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting his income and marital status in order to obtain healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare. This arrest brings the total number of people arrested for TennCare fraud to 2,800 since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) began investigating and pursuing this criminal activity.

Marquize Hardy, 37, of Memphis is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000. Charges accuse him of falsely reporting his income and the composition of his household in order to be eligible for benefits. Hardy claimed to be single when he is actually married.

“People who have access to insurance, financial means or other resources should not be enrolled a program for those who truly need healthcare benefits through TennCare,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “We are pursuing and prosecuting these cases across the state.”

District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting. 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, 2,800 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.”