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Alabama Couple Found on TennCare, Charged with Fraud

Wednesday, March 02, 2011 | 09:26am

NASHVILLE – An Alabama couple is charged with misrepresenting their residency in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Christopher T. Smith, 31, and Brittany J. Smith, 23, both of Bridgeport, Alabama.  The Bridgeport Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the arrests.

Both Christopher and Brittany were indicted by a Marion County Grand Jury and charged with TennCare fraud for falsely claiming to reside in Tennessee and failing to notify the state that their household residence is actually in Alabama.

The TennCare fraud charges against both Christopher and Brittany could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting.

“We will prosecute anyone who knowingly misrepresents their income, address or employment to gain TennCare benefits,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures.  To date, over 1,300 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 from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

TennCare Fraud | Press Releases