Three People in Jefferson Co. Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three Tennesseans are charged with TennCare fraud in Jefferson County.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrests:
- Sherry Ann Ellison, 38, of Morristown, charged with TennCare fraud in an indictment accusing her of obtaining the painkiller Hydrocodone by doctor shopping and using TennCare as payment;
- Lawrence David Lamons III, 45, of Rogersville is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud in connection with using TennCare to obtain Hydrocodone by doctor shopping;
- Frances Mae Reneau, 40, of White Pine, is charged with TennCare Fraud and two counts of theft of services – one involving more than $10,000. Reneau is accused of fraudulently reporting to DHS that her husband did not reside with her in order to appear eligible for the TennCare program.
“We’re cracking down on the misuse of TennCare all over the state,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “From selling prescription drugs to cheating the system to qualify for benefits, it’s all TennCare fraud and theft against taxpayers.”
District Attorney General James Dunn is prosecuting the cases in Jefferson County. 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, 2,832 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.”