Georgia Woman Must Repay Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Georgia woman must pay Tennessee for healthcare insurance benefits received through TennCare, after her conviction for committing fraud to enroll in the program.
Virginia Carter, 46, of Mineral Bluff, Georgia is ordered by a Polk County Criminal Court to repay TennCare a total of $12,638.49, after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud and felony theft of services. She also received three years of supervised probation.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) brought the charges against Carter in July 2014 for misrepresenting her true income in order to obtain TennCare benefits. Her actual income was outside the limits for TennCare enrollment.
“People who commit TennCare fraud are stealing from taxpayers, it’s that simple,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “People involved in any kind of TennCare fraud are exposed to the high probability of getting caught which may result in felony convictions and paying restitution to the state for any unwarranted services received.”
District Attorney General Stephen Crump prosecuted this 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, 2,334 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."