FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN– A Georgia woman is in custody on TennCare fraud charges, in an indictment accusing her of claiming to live in Tennessee in order to get healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 41-year old Tammie Renee Taylor, also known as Tammie Renee Beck and Tammie R. Anthony, of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. That’s about nine miles from the Tennessee border at Chattanooga.
Taylor was arrested in Georgia on a warrant stemming from an indictment issued in Hamilton County, Tennessee, and is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services. She is accused in the indictment of obtaining healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare, even though she wasn’t eligible. Charges say she obtained medical services through TennCare by intentionally misrepresenting that the family resided in Tennessee when they actually lived in Georgia. The arrest was coordinated with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.
“When people cross state lines to enroll in TennCare, they are committing a crime that may get them a long-term stay in Tennessee, as a ward of the state,” Inspector Deborah Faulkner said. “We’ll pursue any case where someone may be crossing state lines to enroll in TennCare.”
Theft of services over $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a maximum of six years in prison, theft of services over $1,000 is a Class D felony that carries a penalty of four years in prison. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William H. Cox is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, 2,090 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.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."