Two West Tennessee Women Charged with TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | 12:03pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Residents of Henderson and Shelby Counties are charged in separate cases of TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Jennifer L. Hawn, 32, of Scottsville in Henderson County and Shanedale Jefferson, 46, of Memphis.

Hawn is charged with three counts doctor shopping for prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare as payment for the clinical visit, the prescriptions or both. Doctor shopping involves going to multiple doctors in a 30-day period, asking for prescriptions for drugs. Her arrest was assisted by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. District Attorney General James Woodall is prosecuting. 

In Shelby County, Shanedale Jefferson is accused of falsely reporting her income and resources in order to appear eligible for TennCare benefits. Her arrest was assisted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshall’s Task Force. She’s charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly falsely reporting her income and resources to the state and also is charged with theft of services over $10,000. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting.

“It’s a simple message that we are carrying across the state - if you lie, cheat or steal to get TennCare benefits or obtain prescription drugs, you risk criminal prosecution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “People who commit TennCare fraud are taking something they’re not entitled to, and they’re taking it from all the taxpayers of Tennessee.”

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, 2,853 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.”