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Rutherford Co. Woman Must Repay State in TennCare Fraud Case

Thursday, September 23, 2021 | 01:49pm
Berrera

NASHVILLE –  A Rutherford county woman is ordered to repay the state after appearing in court on charges involving TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced sentencing in Rutherford County for 37-year-old Maura Barrera. She was convicted of TennCare fraud and theft of property for failing to report her true employment status and household income so she could remain on the state’s healthcare insurance programs.

Barrera must repay the state $34,621.18 for benefits received while she was enrolled in TennCare. She was arrested on March 25 of this year. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Allyson Abbott of the 16th Judicial District covering Cannon and Rutherford counties.

“We appreciate the perseverance of the Rutherford county district attorney general’s office in bringing prosecution of TennCare fraud to the forefront in their local communities,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “Our office will continue to do our part to preserve the integrity of TennCare benefits, so that those truly deserving of and eligible for TennCare have the best resources.”

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. TennCare’s budget is comprised of both federal and state dollars, 65% and 35% respectively. To date, 3,137 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

To access the OIG most wanted list, 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.

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.”