FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Blount County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for receiving benefits through the state’s Medicaid program that she was not eligible to receive.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Cherie Boston, 49, of Maryville. She is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services.
"It´s troubling when anyone with resources attempts to enroll in a program that benefits people who are in challenging situations financially, physically or both," Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said. "We are pursuing and prosecuting these cases across the state."
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and theft of services over $1,000 is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Mike Flynn 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 TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,168 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."