Williamson Co. Couple Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Williamson County couple is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services related to information they provided to the state for TennCare eligibility.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Heidi Smith, 42, and her husband Robert Smith, 42, both from Franklin, Tennessee. She is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 but under $60,000. The husband, Dr. Robert Smith, a dentist, faces the same theft of services charge.
Heidi Smith allegedly provided false information related to her household income in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits for herself, her husband and their 5 children. Authorities say the family was above the income limits for TennCare. As a result, TennCare paid $44,404.73 on their behalf, which they were not eligible to receive.
“Using the TennCare program and receiving benefits that one is not entitled to will not be tolerated in the state of Tennessee,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Our agency will continue to show our commitment through our diligent investigation process and ensure that our taxpayers’ money is being used properly.”
If convicted, Heidi Smith could face up to a maximum of 27 years in prison and her husband Robert could face a maximum of 12 years in prison. The theft of services Charge is a Class C felony and the TennCare Fraud charge is a class D felony. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Kim Helper of Williamson 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, 3,153 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.”