FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Sullivan County man has been ordered to repay the state after his conviction on TennCare fraud charges.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced sentencing for 39-year old George Dease, Jr, of Kingsport. He was arrested by the OIG in August of last year, when he was charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of services.
Dease gained access to TennCare benefits by falsely claimed his minor son lived in his household, which made him eligible TennCare healthcare insurance benefits. He has been ordered to repay the state $6,831.19 plus $400 in fines, along with being ordered to close his TennCare account and is subject to three years of supervised probation.
“People who misrepresent their situation to obtain benefits that are paid by taxpayers are going to be caught, it’s just a matter of time,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. “We are pursuing and prosecuting these type cases all across the state.”
This case was prosecuted by District Attorney General Barry Straubus.
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, 2,124 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."