|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud after she received healthcare insurance benefits through the program, even though she was not eligible for TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the charge against Jennifer Carolyn Bonilla, 35, of Antioch, who turned herself in to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with one count of TennCare fraud.
The charge against her says that from January 2009, to April 2010, Bonilla became a member of TennCare by fraudulent means, including unlawfully and knowingly making a false statement to the state, and receiving benefits through the program because of the actions.
“People who misrepresent something about their current situation in order to qualify for TennCare are going to be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a felony, and a conviction could mean jail time, paying the state back for any medical services received, and many times losing TennCare benefits for a period of time, even for those who qualify.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Coburn could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III 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 the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 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."