Mississippi Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Mississippi woman is charged with TennCare fraud for allegedly claiming to live in Tennessee in order to obtain TennCare benefits for her children.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 34-year old Nikki Carr, currently of Olive Branch, Mississippi is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property. She’s accused of fraudulently reporting a Tennessee residence while residing in Mississippi. As a result, it’s alleged that TennCare paid more than $6,000 in fees and claims on behalf of the Carr family.
“An integral requirement for qualifying for TennCare is residing within the state lines of Tennessee,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General strives to protect our taxpayers’ hard-earned money and ensure that those who attempt to deceive our Medicaid program will be brought to justice.”
TennCare fraud and theft of services are class D felonies. If convicted, Carr could face up to 24 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General 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 being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 3,083 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.”