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Decatur Co. Woman Pleads Guilty to TennCare Fraud

Tuesday, December 09, 2014 | 08:07am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Decatur County woman must repay Tennessee for healthcare services paid for by TennCare, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 28-year old Susan Bingham, of Scotts Hill, pleaded guilty to TennCare Fraud and theft of property over $10,000, charges that were filed against her in Henderson County.

In exchange for her plea agreement, Bingham was ordered to pay TennCare $15,969.38 in restitution and $1,000 in court fines. Bingham has also been ordered to serve 180 days, day for day, in the local jail and complete 100 hours of community service work.  After that, she’ll be placed on supervised probation for five years and during that time she is not permitted to receive TennCare benefits and will be required to maintain full-time employment or be a full-time student. 

“We hope those who are or would abusing TennCare get the message that we are aggressively pursuing TennCare fraud and there are repercussions for committing this crime,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We have made 14 arrests already in December and we have many more cases in the pipeline.”

Bingham was arrested in October when she was charged with one count each of TennCare fraud and theft of property. Charges accused her of falsely claimed her minor children lived in her household, which made her appear eligible for TennCare benefits. 

District Attorney General James Woodall prosecuted this case.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $5 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $176 million for TennCare, according to latest figures.  To date, 2,238 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."