Sullivan Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sullivan County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in connection with allegedly filing false information in order to appear eligible for the healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Bristol Police Department today announced the arrest of Samantha L. Marion, 37 of Bluff City, Tennessee. She’s accused of falsely reporting her marital status in order to obtain TennCare benefits for herself and her two children. Investigators say if she had correctly reported her husband’s income contribution to the household, she would not have been eligible for the program. The result, authorities say, is that TannCare paid $57,800.21 on their behalf.
“The Office of Inspector General is determined to investigate people who try to take advantage of Tennessee’s Medicaid program,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We will continue to demonstrate a proven commitment through our diligent investigation process to ensure that our taxpayer’s money is being used properly.”
The theft of services charge is a class C felony and the TennCare fraud charge is a class D felony. If convicted, Marion could face penalties of up to a maximum of 27 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Barry Staubus of Sullivan 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, 3,141 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.”