Hardeman Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN. – A Hardeman County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services for allegedly reporting incorrect information in order to appear eligible for TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Department today announced that 33-year-old Sheena R. Murphy of Whiteville is charged with TennCare fraud, a class D felony and theft of services over $10,000, a class C felony.
Investigators accuse Murphy of falsely reporting her income and her marital status in order to obtain TennCare benefits for herself and her son. Investigators say she was over the income threshold to receive TennCare for herself and her son; and, authorities allege she failed to report to the state that she was married. As a result, TennCare paid $16,853.27 in health care payments and pharmacy claims. Agents say if Murphy had reported her marital status and income, she would not have qualified for TennCare benefits.
“Using the TennCare program and receiving benefits that one is not entitled to will not be tolerated in the state of Tennessee,” Inspector Kim Harmon said. “Our agency will continue to show our commitment through our diligent investigation process, and we will ensure that our taxpayer’s money is being used properly.”
If convicted, Murphy could face penalties of up to a maximum of 27 years in prison for the class C and class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Mark Davidson of Hardeman 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, 3,139 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.”