Georgia Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Georgia woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in an indictment accusing her of making false claims in order to enroll in TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia Police Department, today announced that Ashlie Young, 30 of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services under $10,000, which are class D felonies.
Investigators say Young falsely reported that she had custody of her two children and that she also reported a Tennessee residence in order to obtain TennCare benefits, which she otherwise would not qualify for. As a result, authorities say TennCare paid $7,268.84 on her behalf for healthcare services.
“The TennCare program is designed to provide benefits for the residents of Tennessee who rightfully qualify,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General has demonstrated a proven commitment through our diligent investigation process to ensure that our taxpayer’s money is being used properly.”
If convicted Young could face penalties of up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for both Class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Neal Pinkston of Hamilton County.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated over 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million ordered in restitution to TennCare. This has helped lead to a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to the latest figures. To date, 3,130 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.”