Hamblen Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hamblen County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting that she resided in Tennessee in order to obtain benefits from the taxpayer-funded program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Desha Majors, 39, of Morristown. She is charged in a Hamilton County indictment with TennCare fraud and theft of property over $10,000. The charges say she obtained TennCare healthcare insurance benefits by fraudulently reporting her residency in order to appear eligible for TennCare. At the time of her enrollment, Majors lived in Ringgold, Georgia. She currently lives in Morristown, Tennessee.
“It is a crime to receive TennCare benefits while living in another state, as TennCare benefits are reserved for Tennesseans,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We appreciate the cooperation of citizens and local law enforcement in working these cases.”
District Attorney General Neal Pinkston is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge. Theft of services over $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of six 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, 2,960 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 800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”