Mississippi Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A woman in Southaven, Mississippi is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property for allegedly reporting a Tennessee residence in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 46-year old Teresa Rudd, also known as Teresa Vaughn. She’s accused of reporting a residence in Tennessee while residing in Mississippi. As a result, TennCare paid more than $2,000 and claims and fees on her behalf.
“If an individual is not qualified for TennCare benefits, they are not entitled to have TennCare pay for their medical bills and pharmacy claims,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General strives to protect our taxpayers’ hard-earned money and ensure that those who choose to commit fraud will be sought out and prosecuted.”
The TennCare fraud charge is a class D Felony and the theft of property charge is a class E Felony. If convicted, Rudd could face penalties of up to 18 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Amy T. Weirichv 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 being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 3,080 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.”