Rutherford Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Rutherford County woman has been arrested after spending a year eluding authorities and eventually making the TennCare fraud “Most Wanted” list.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 37-year old Maura Barrera of Lavergne. She’s charged with TennCare fraud, a class D felony and theft of services over $10,000 but under $60,000, which is a class C felony.
Investigators say Barrera failed to report her employment and income, and as a result, TennCare paid more than $34,600 in health care services fees and claims for her and her children. She was indicted in March of last year and was added in January to the OIG most wanted list. A break in the case came when Barrera agreed to a background check as part of a job application. She turned herself in to authorities.
“The TennCare program is designed to help those who rightfully qualify for benefits based on very specific qualifications, including income thresholds,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “The OIG continues to identify and investigate people mispresenting their circumstances in order to receive TennCare benefits fraudulently.”
District Attorney General Jennings H. Jones of Rutherford County is prosecuting.
To access the OIG most wanted list please visit 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.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated more than 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, 3,106 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.”