Tennessee officials have charged yet another Alabama resident with TennCare fraud, according to a press release from the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration’s website.
This, even though only Tennessee residents are eligible for the TennCare program.
Tennessee officials said they arrested Ladreamer Garrett, 27, of Bridgeport, Ala. and charged her with TennCare fraud and theft of services. Authorities said Garrett allegedly applied for and received TennCare benefits for herself and her minor child by fraudulently reporting her residency to appear eligible for TennCare.
“Authorities say records show that a month before applying for TennCare, she signed a lease for her residence in Bridgeport, Alabama, where she and her child continue to live,” according to the press release.
The Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, announced the arrest.
District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.
“Lying about one’s residence in order to receive TennCare benefits is a crime,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said in the press release.
“We work diligently to preserve TennCare benefits for its intentional use. We welcome information of anyone abusing the system.”
As The Tennessee Star reported this week, Tennessee officials indicted five other Alabama residents on charges of passing themselves off as Tennessee residents so they could qualify for TennCare.
All five people fraudulently reported to Tennessee officials that they and their minor children were state residents so they could qualify for TennCare.
These five arrests bring the total number of people arrested for TennCare fraud to 3,100 since the OIG began investigating and pursuing this type criminal activity, according to a press release.
Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration spokeswoman Lola Potter told The Star the number of TennCare fraud arrests overall is on the decline.
“The OIG says the decrease is probably attributed to the decline in prescription drug diversion cases by TennCare recipients, and an increase in eligibility cases which are more complex,” Potter told The Star in an email.
Potter did not elaborate further.
TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.
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