FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Maury County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with falsely reporting her income to the state, in order to obtain healthcare insurance benefits through TennCare, the state’s Medicaid managed care program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Maury County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Susan R. Morton, 41, of Columbia.
Morton has been charged with TennCare fraud for failing to report accurate income, child care and the fact that she had family medical insurance. She has also been charged with theft of services less than $60,000. Morton received $38,637.92 in TennCare benefits for which she was not eligible.
“People who give inaccurate information to the state in order to get public healthcare insurance benefits are committing fraud, and we are pursuing and prosecuting these cases across the state,” Acting Inspector General Robert White said. “Punishment can range up to paying the state back, jail time, and possibly forfeiting the privilege of applying for TennCare in the future.”
If convicted, Morton could be sentenced to up to six years on the Class C felony of theft of services, and an additional two years on the Class E felony for fraudulently obtaining TennCare services. Maury County District Attorney General Mike Bottoms 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, 2,135 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."