Williamson Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

Wednesday, March 01, 2017 | 01:33pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Williamson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with falsely reporting her income in order to appear eligible for the state’s healthcare insurance program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Nichole Charity Chapa, also known as Nichole Charity Zamrok, 43, of Fairview. She is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $1,000.

Authorities say Chapa falsely reported her income to the state and as a result obtained over $6,847.91 in TennCare healthcare and prescription drug benefits she was not entitled to receive.

“It’s troubling when people intentionally misrepresent their resources in order to access services meant for people who are truly in need,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said.  “We are pursuing and prosecuting these cases across the state.”

District Attorney General Kim R. Helper is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is now a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,803 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 visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”