Rutherford Co. Woman Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, TN - A Rutherford County woman has been sentenced, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud charges earlier this year.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Kristy Robinson, 26, of Smyrna, pleaded guilty to felony TennCare fraud and theft of services. Rutherford Criminal Circuit Court ordered her to make restitution to TennCare of over $12,000 as well as paying court costs. She is also banned from applying for or receiving TennCare benefits in the future. The court also sentenced her to five years in prison, but suspended the sentence to supervised probation.
“Prison isn’t the worst thing that could happen if a person is convicted of TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Losing the privilege of applying for health care benefits through the state’s TennCare program and paying TennCare back for health care benefits are strong actions that could last beyond a prison term.”
Robinson was arrested earlier this year and charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services for receiving TennCare benefits she was not eligible to receive by claiming her minor children as members of her household in order to appear eligible for TennCare.
District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr., prosecuted this case.
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 1,900 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."