Blount Co. Woman to Repay TennCare
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Blount County woman has been ordered to repay the state after facing charges of fraudulently obtaining TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 38-year old Malia Wallace of Maryville pleaded guilty to TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. Wallace was arrested last April on a Blount County indictment charging her with falsely claiming a minor child lived with her. Without a dependent, she was not eligible for TennCare. Wallace must pay TennCare $13,441.86 in restitution and will serve three years on probation in Blount County.
“Providing false information in order to receive TennCare benefits is a crime,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We work diligently to preserve the integrity of TennCare benefits, so those truly deserving have the best resources.”
District Attorney General Mike Flynn prosecuted this case. 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, 2,961 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.”