Hardin County Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

A Hardin County woman is charged with allegedly lying about her residency in order to enroll in TennCare, according to the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, this week announced the arrest of Samantha J. Briley, 31, of Savannah.

An indictment charged her with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 for reporting to the state that she lived in Tennessee when she was actually living in Florence, Alabama, in order to receive TennCare, a press release said.

Authorities say as a result, she obtained $15,327.06 in medical assistance benefits. Briley was served while lodged in the Hardin County jail on unrelated charges allegedly involving the sale of methamphetamine, state officials said in the press release.

“Lying to the state can be trouble at any time – and it’s against the law to get enrolled in TennCare when living in any other state,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.

“We appreciate citizens bringing information to our attention so we can preserve TennCare benefits for Tennesseans.”

District Attorney General Matthew F. Stowe is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge and theft of services over $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 3,075 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.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]











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