|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Wilson County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud and accused of loaning her son’s TennCare card to another person to use in payment for medical services.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of Capri Bishop, 39, and Demond Michael Starks, 24, both of Lebanon, both charged with one count of TennCare fraud. The Lebanon Police Department and Smith County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrests.
An indictment accuses Bishop of giving her son’s TennCare card to Starks for him to use to access healthcare services.
“TennCare benefits are available to people who are eligible for the program, and we intend to protect its integrity by upholding that mission,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson will be prosecuting these cases.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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 log on to www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."