FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Mississippi woman charged with lying to the state in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits is now order to repay the state program for payments made on her behalf.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced a judgment against 51-year old Joann Shorter, also known as Joann Moore, of Walls, Mississippi. She was arrested in March of this year when she was charged in connection with falsifying statements in order to appear eligible for TennCare. A Shelby County Criminal Court has ordered Shorter to pay restitution in the amount of $12,452.00, along with five years of supervised judicial diversion.
“The TennCare program is solely for the citizens of the State of Tennessee,” Acting Inspector General Lawrence S. Saylor, Jr., said. “Anyone who comes across the state line to fraudulently get these benefits will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich prosecuted this case.
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, 2,172 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."