Mississippi Woman Convicted of $250,000 Worth of TennCare Fraud


A Mississippi woman allegedly committed more than $250,000 worth of TennCare fraud, according to Tennessee officials, and she must pay that money back.

“This is the highest restitution ordered since the OIG (Office of Inspector General) began investigating TennCare fraud in 2004,” according to a press release from the Tennessee Office of Inspector General.

A court convicted this woman, Cheri Cavitt, 36, of Southaven, Miss. This, after she fraudulently reported she lived in Tennessee and misrepresented her household information to qualify for TennCare — at state taxpayer expense, the press release said.

“In a court hearing on a Class A theft of property charge – which involves more than $250,000 – she pleaded guilty to a class C theft of property charge,” according to the press release.

“She was given 10 years of judicial diversion and ordered to pay $258,303.64 in restitution to TennCare.”

Authorities arrested Cavitt in May of last year and charged her in Shelby County, the press release said.

“Authorities also report she failed to disclose her marriage, also to appear eligible for TennCare.  District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich prosecuted this case.

Also, authorities charged a McMinn County woman with TennCare fraud for allegedly selling prescription drugs she obtained using TennCare benefits.

That woman Emma Martin, 51, allegedly used TennCare to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, as well as the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, which is a Schedule IV controlled substance.

“Authorities say on two separate occasions she sold a portion of the drugs during an undercover police investigation,” according to a press release.

Also, authorities charged a Sumner County woman with fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by falsely claiming her minor children resided with her to get TennCare benefits.

That woman, Amber N. Parrish, 35, of Goodlettsville charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 in an indictment. The indictment accuses her of making false and fictitious statements to the state, claiming her minor children as dependents in her household to be eligible for TennCare benefits.  Parrish allegedly received $10,357.66 in TennCare medical assistance benefits she did not qualify for.

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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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4 Thoughts to “Mississippi Woman Convicted of $250,000 Worth of TennCare Fraud”

  1. […] The Tennessee Star reported this month, a Mississippi woman allegedly committed more than $250,000 worth of TennCare fraud, according to […]

  2. Randy Pace

    An old saying “you can’t get blood from a turnip” comes to mind. The restitution being paid TennCare by individuals is a pin prick compared to the sucking chest wound that organized medical institutions overbill routinely. The majority of people that exploit the system for individual gain are not financially stable enough to pay for health care. No excuse for cheating, but the system wastes more money chasing pennies while truckloads of cash are being hauled out by institutions that exploit the system for profit.

    1. 83ragtop50

      I understand your thought but just allowing thieves skate only encourages more to do so. Of course Tennessee will never recover the quarter million from her. The problem deals with the vetting of people when they sign up for TennCare. The government is totally without the capability to administer anything – periods. I am sure that TennCare has some value but it is a blight on the state.

      1. Randy Pace

        Ragtop, I fully expect that this woman pay restitution. Even if it takes 50 years. More to your point, TennCare allows improper billing by well connected medical institutions and thereby encourages more of the same. When the head of an organization provides consulting services and or advice to TennCare and then turns around and over bills them through “coding errors” and the result is no action taken……. you get the picture.