Hamilton Co. Woman Charged 2nd Time with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Hamilton County woman faces TennCare fraud charges a second time, after her arrest a month ago.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Melody Delong, 31, of Georgetown. A Sevier County Grand Jury indicted her in connection with doctor shopping for drugs, using TennCare as payment, and with obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. She turned herself in to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office.
Delong was first arrested last month in Rhea County, when she was charged with doctor shopping and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. At that time, investigators were already working on the latest charges.
“We have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We’re committed to stopping this type of activity so TennCare will be there for people who have legitimate needs for healthcare benefits.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General James B. Dunn is prosecuting the Sevier County case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,277 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."