Seven People Sentenced for TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Five Tennesseans, along with residents of Georgia and Nevada, are each ordered to repay the state in plea agreements resulting from TennCare fraud charges brought by the Office of Inspector General.
Mary Dennis, 44, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, received four years judicial diversion and was ordered to repay the state a total of $28,000. Dennis was charged in Davidson County in October of 2016 with fraudulently claiming a minor child as a dependent in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits. At the time of her enrollment, Dennis was a resident of Nashville. District Attorney General Glenn R. Funk prosecuted this case.
Jamie Thomason, 40, of Rossville, Georgia, received eight years judicial diversion in Hamilton County and is ordered to repay the state $9,200. Thomason was arrested in August of 2017 and charged with fraudulently reporting her residency as Tennessee in order to appear eligible for TennCare, when she actually lived in Rossville, Georgia. District Attorney General Neal Pinkston prosecuted the case.
In Knox County, Teresa Davis, 48, of Knoxville, received four years and one day judicial diversion and was ordered to repay a total of $6,000.00. She was charged in August of 2017 with failing to disclose her correct income to the state in order to obtain TennCare benefits. District Attorney General Charme P. Allen prosecuted this case.
Jennifer Robbins, 38, of Chattanooga, received two years of probation and was ordered to repay the state a total of $1,651.47. She was arrested in April of this year in Hamilton County, where she was charged with TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping. It was her second round of TennCare fraud charges, after she arrested this past February in McMinn County. At that time, she was charged with using TennCare to doctor shop for the painkiller Hydrocodone. McMinn County District Attorney General Stephen Crump and Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston prosecuted the cases.
Tenisha Clemmons, 35, of Memphis, received one year judicial diversion and is ordered to repay the state $13,347.33. She was charged in June of 2017 with failing to report her income to the state. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted the case.
Carla McPherson, 52, of Carthage, received six years of probation in Smith County and ordered to repay the state $10,000.00. She was charged with fraudulently misrepresenting her household composition and her husband’s income in order to appear eligible for TennCare benefits. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson, Jr. prosecuted the case.
Ashley Gilbert, 31, of Cordova, received three years of probation in Shelby County and is ordered to repay the state $3,474.00. Gilbert was accused of fraudulently reporting her residency in order to get enrolled in TennCare. At the time of her enrollment, Gilbert lived in Olive Branch, Mississippi. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted the case.
“Our mission is to preserve the integrity of the TennCare program, “Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We do so by diligently investigating anyone who uses or attempts to use the program for unlawful purposes.”
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, 2,982 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.”