Tennessee officials have announced several TennCare fraud arrests this month.
• Authorities arrested a West Memphis, Ark, woman and charged her with TennCare fraud. They said this woman, Deniqueal S. Townsend, 34, falsely reported she was living in Tennessee to obtain healthcare insurance benefits from the program.
The Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, announced the arrest. Townsend was charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud and theft of property over $10,000. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich is prosecuting, according to a press release.
• Authorities have ordered a Jefferson County woman to repay the state more than $55,000 after she was charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. The OIG announced that Consuelo Morales, 44, was sentenced in Jefferson County, where she was accused of enrolling herself and her children in TennCare by falsely reporting her income and rental houses. Factoring in those items would have made her ineligible for TennCare, according to a press release.
Morales must repay the state a total of $55,244.61 for benefits she and her family allegedly received while they were on the program. Morales was arrested in January of this year when she was charged by the OIG with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney General James Dunn, according to a press release.
• Authorities charged a Hamblen County woman in nearby Cocke County with doctor shopping for prescription drugs, using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits as payment for the pills – a crime she was convicted of in a previous case, according to a press release.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department, announced the arrest of Lisa Roberts, 41, of Morristown. She was charged with six counts of TennCare fraud by doctor shopping, which involves using TennCare to visit multiple healthcare providers in a short time period to obtain prescriptions – in this case, Lorazepam and Clonazepam. Both drugs are considered anti-anxiety mediations.
This is Roberts’ second arrest for TennCare fraud doctor shopping. She was also arrested in March of 2015 on four counts of TennCare fraud in Hamblen County and was convicted in July of 2016, a press release said.
• Authorities charged a Shelby County woman with TennCare fraud for allegedly lying about having a dependent to obtain healthcare insurance benefits from the taxpayer-funded program, according to a press release.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, announced the arrest of Candice B. Everett, 37, of Bartlett. She is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud and theft of property over $10,000 for reporting to the state that she had custody of her minor child, when a family member had custody. Without a dependent, Everett was not eligible for TennCare, according to a press release.
TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge. Theft of services over $10,000 is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
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