Shelby County: TennCare Fraud Fugitive Captured
NASHVILLE, TN – After being on the run for the past eight months, a Shelby County woman has been booked for TennCare fraud and theft of property.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Evelyn Pride, 29, of Memphis. An indictment in April of this year accused her of TennCare fraud and theft of property. Pride is accused of receiving TennCare benefits even though she wasn’t eligible for the state’s public healthcare insurance program for a period ending in November 2011.
“People who misrepresent their financial, employment, household or other information in order to qualify for TennCare will eventually be caught and prosecuted,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We track down eligibility evidence, then determine whether there’s evidence that a person knowingly presented false information to get benefits they’re not entitled to. Tennesseans deserve a strong TennCare program free of people who are not truly eligible for this taxpayer-funded program.”
The TennCare fraud charge carries up to a two-year sentence and the theft of property charge could result in a sentence up to 4 years. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,700 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."