Memphis Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman from Memphis is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property after investigators say she fraudulently enrolled herself and her children in the state’s healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Shelby County Sherriff’s Office today announced that 34-year old Sharon Conley of Memphis is accused of falsely reporting both her income and marital status in order to obtain TennCare. Investigators allege that her husband, also employed, was living in the home and their income was over the limits for TennCare enrollment. As a result, officials say TennCare paid $16,357.46 on their behalf.
“The Office of Inspector General diligently investigates those taking unfair advantage of Tennessee’s Medicaid program,” Inspector General, Kim Harmon said. “TennCare resources are intended to help those truly in need.”
If convicted Conley could face up to a maximum 27 years in prison for the charges, which are class C and class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Amy T. Weirich of Shelby 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, 3,147 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.”