Shelby Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly lying about having a dependent in order to obtain healthcare insurance benefits from the taxpayer-funded program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of Candice B. Everett, 37, of Bartlett. She is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud and theft of property over $10,000 for reporting to the state that she had custody of her minor child, when a family member actually had custody. Without a dependent, Everett was not eligible for TennCare.
“Providing false information in order to personally gain TennCare benefits is a crime,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General works diligently to deter TennCare fraud and to protect its resources.”
District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich 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, 3,072 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.”