Three Shelby Co. Residents Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – – Three Shelby County residents are each charged in separate cases with TennCare fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrests:
- Alaa Ahmad, 40, of Memphis, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000. Ahmad is accused of obtaining TennCare benefits by claiming his minor child was living with him when in fact the child lives out of the country. Without the dependent, Ahmad was not eligible for TennCare.
- Ereca Fondren, 33, of Memphis, charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000. Fondren and her minor child obtained medical benefits through TennCare when she intentionally mispresented that her family lived in Tennessee; they actually lived in Mississippi, rendering them ineligible for TennCare.
- Sonya Boyland, 43, of Memphis, charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property over $10,000. Boyland is accused of receiving TennCare benefits by fraudulently failing to disclose her income to the state which would have made her ineligible for TennCare benefits. During the course of the arrest, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office uncovered additional crimes including theft of several firearms, motor vehicle theft and several burglaries of motor vehicles. These discoveries lead to the arrest of six other individuals.
“People who provide false information in order to receive TennCare benefits are making a bad choice that can land them in jail and facing heavy fines,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The OIG works diligently to preserve TennCare resources and Tennessee taxpayers’ money. “
District Attorney General Amy T. Weirch is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge. Theft of property over $10,000 is a Class C felony which carries a sentence of up to 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, 3,109 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/oig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”