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Benton, TN Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

Friday, November 15, 2019 | 09:11am
L Parris

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman from Benton, Tennessee, is charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly using her deceased husband’s TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription.   

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) in a joint effort with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department today announced the arrest of Amariah Parris of Benton. She is charged with TennCare Fraud, a class D felony.

Investigators say Parris knowingly used her deceased husband’s TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for insulin.

“The TennCare program is designed to provide benefits for individuals that need the services and medications provided through the proper and legal avenues,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.  “Individuals who abuse and misrepresent their situations in order to profit from the sale of their deceased relatives’ benefits will be sought out and prosecuted.”

If convicted, Parris could face penalties of up to a maximum of 12 years in prison for the charge of TennCare fraud. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney, Stephen D. Crump of Bradley County.

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, 3,125 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 or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”