Tennessee officials have charged people from Davidson County and Brownsville with TennCare fraud, according to press releases they distributed this week.
Law enforcement officials charged Tamaria Whitley, 21, of Brownsville with TennCare fraud and identity theft for allegedly allowing another person to use her TennCare card to receive dental benefits.
Both offenses are class D felonies. TennCare provides for dental services for children under 21 years of age and authorities say the alleged crimes happened before Whitley was 21, the press release said.
“Whitley is accused of knowingly allowing another individual who was not enrolled in TennCare to use her TennCare card to receive dental benefits on 12 separate occasions, totaling approximately $7,500.00 paid on her behalf,” the press release said.
District Attorney Jody Pickens of Madison County is prosecuting the case, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, authorities charged Virginia Watson, 59, of Davidson County with allegedly reporting a false Tennessee residence in order to receive TennCare healthcare insurance benefits. Authorities specifically charged Watson with TennCare fraud and theft of services under $10,000 — both of which are class D felonies, according to a press release.
“Watson is accused of falsely reporting a Tennessee address when she actually resided in Alabama, which disqualified her for TennCare enrollment. After the period in which the alleged fraud occurred, she moved to the Nashville area,” the press release stated.
If convicted, Watson could face penalties of up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for both Class D felonies. District Attorney Glenn R. Funk of Davidson County is prosecuting the case.
“The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated over 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million ordered in restitution to TennCare,” the press release said.
“This has helped lead to a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to the latest figures. To date, 3,133 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.”
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