FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Mississippi woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property after obtaining TennCare healthcare insurance benefits she didn’t qualify for.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kim Jackson, 38, of Olive Branch, Mississippi. The arrest brings to 2,100 the number of people arrested for TennCare since the OIG began investigating and pursuing this criminal activity. There have been 6,648 criminal charges filed.
A Shelby County indictment charges Jackson with TennCare fraud and theft of property for unlawfully and knowingly obtaining TennCare medical assistance benefits which she was not entitled to receive by means of a willfully false statement and representation. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
“We intend to prosecute anyone, regardless of where they live, if they lie to get enrolled in TennCare” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “People who cross the state line to gain a benefit available for Tennesseans are going to be investigated and criminally charged.”
Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. Theft of Property over $10,000 is a Class D felony that carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich will prosecute.
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, 2,100 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."