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Warren County Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

Wednesday, December 08, 2021 | 02:36pm
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NASHVILLE – A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services for allegedly reporting false information to the state to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 30-year-old Jessica Tees.

Tees is accused of claiming to have custody of her children, which qualified her for TennCare, but investigators allege she lost custody of the children but continued to report them as dependents. As a result, TennCare paid more than $15,549.00 in fees and claims on her behalf.

“The TennCare program is designed to help those who rightfully qualify for benefits,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.  “OIG’s mission is to identify and investigate TennCare recipient fraud which depletes TennCare resources.  Providing false information in order to receive TennCare benefits is clearly fraud and will not be tolerated in Tennessee.”

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 General Lisa S. Zavogiannis, serving Van Buren and Warren Counties.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has identified and investigated more than 130,349 potential fraud cases leading to more than $9.2 million being repaid to TennCare.  In the last year ending June 30, 2021 total estimated cost avoidance was more than $7.5 million. TennCare's budget is comprised of 65 percent federal and 35 percent state dollars. To date, 3,146 people of been charged with TennCare fraud. 

The OIG’s most wanted list of fugitives from TennCare fraud are online at https://www.tn.gov/finance/fa-oig/fa-oig-most-wanted.html. Anyone with information about a wanted subject is urged to use the contact information on the page. 

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.”