Benton-area Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

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Authorities have charged a Benton-area woman with TennCare fraud for allegedly using her deceased husband’s TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription, according to the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

The Office of Inspector General in a joint effort with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Department this week announced the arrest of Amariah Parris. Parris is charged with TennCare Fraud, a class D felony. Investigators say Parris knowingly used her deceased husband’s TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for insulin, according to a state press release.

“The TennCare program is designed to provide benefits for individuals that need the services and medications provided through the proper and legal avenues,” the press release quoted F&A Inspector General Kim Harmon as saying.

“Individuals who abuse and misrepresent their situations in order to profit from the sale of their deceased relatives’ benefits will be sought out and prosecuted.”

If convicted, Parris could face penalties of up to a maximum of 12 years in prison for the charge of TennCare fraud. District Attorney, Stephen D. Crump of Bradley County is prosecuting the case.

As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this month, authorities charged a Lewisburg man with TennCare fraud and felony theft of property over $10,000, according to a state press release.

Officers with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department arrested that man, David Walter Tucker of Marshall County. They charged him with one count of obtaining benefits through TennCare despite not qualifying for the state health insurance program, which is a class D felony, and one count of theft of property over $10,000, a class C felony.

If convicted, Tucker could face up to 27 years in prison, according to the press release.

As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this month, authorities charged a Lewisburg woman with TennCare fraud for allegedly selling pills obtained using benefits of TennCare, the state’s healthcare insurance program.

As The Tennessee Star reported last month, authorities charged a North Carolina resident, Julie Carpenter, with a similar offense.

The arrest was the result of a joint effort with the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office of North Carolina.  Authorities transported her to the sheriff’s office of Johnson County, Tenn. where they have her housed, according to a press release.

Carpenter is charged with one count of obtaining benefits through TennCare despite not qualifying for the program and one count of theft of services over $10,000, the press release went on to say.

As The Tennessee Star also reported, TennCare officials announced the arrest of an Arkansas woman, also on TennCare fraud charges.

According to a state press release, authorities say this Arkansan, Karen Wilson-Hicks, 52, moved from Tennessee but she knowingly did not report her new address. She allegedly did this to remain enrolled in the state healthcare insurance program.

Tennessee residency is an essential requirement for TennCare eligibility.

As reported, a Mississippi woman allegedly committed more than $250,000 worth of TennCare fraud, and she must pay that money back.

As The Star reported in July, authorities were investigating 16 people in Georgia for receiving benefits from Tennessee’s Medicaid program.

Those 16 Georgians likely couldn’t get health care coverage in their home state.

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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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One Thought to “Benton-area Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud”

  1. 83ragtop50

    How about stopping the fraud (theft) before it happens? What safeguards are in place? Apparently not ones that are effective.

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