Four More Tennessee Residents Charged with TennCare Fraud

Alleged TennCare fraudsters
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Authorities have charged four additional people from around Tennessee with TennCare fraud, including people from Coffee, Hardeman, and Madison counties.

This, according to a series of press releases members of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration released late last week.

Authorities charged Coffee County resident James Smithey, 42, with TennCare fraud and theft of services. Smithey allegedly under-reported his income to qualify for TennCare healthcare insurance benefits, according to a state press release from the Office of Inspector General.

If convicted Smithey could face penalties of up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for the charges, which are Class D felonies.

Meanwhile, authorities charged Sheena R. Murphy of Hardeman County with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000. Murphy allegedly reported incorrect information to appear eligible for TennCare, according to an OIG press release.

“Investigators accuse Murphy of falsely reporting her income and her marital status in order to obtain TennCare benefits for herself and her son,” the press release said.

“Investigators say she was over the income threshold to receive TennCare for herself and her son; and, authorities allege she failed to report to the state that she was married. As a result, TennCare paid $16,853.27 in health care payments and pharmacy claims. Agents say if Murphy had reported her marital status and income, she would not have qualified for TennCare benefits.”

District Attorney Mark Davidson of Hardeman County is prosecuting that case, the press release went on to say.

Authorities also charged two Madison County residents with TennCare fraud in related cases.

The arrests involve a person allegedly accessing the benefits of a member of TennCare CHOICES, a program that offers nursing facility services and home and community-based services for seniors and for adults with a physical disability.

OIG officials announced the arrest of Jerry Anderson, 58, and Debra Jackson, 49, both from Jackson. Anderson is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and two counts of obtaining drugs by fraud. Jackson is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining drugs by fraud.

“Authorities say Anderson used the identity of a TennCare CHOICES recipient in order to receive dental benefits and prescription drugs he was not entitled to receive. Investigators allege that Jackson knowingly aided and abetted his use of the identity of the TennCare CHOICES member,” according to an OIG press release.

“If convicted, Anderson could face penalties of up to a maximum of 36 years in prison for the charges, which are both class D felonies.  Jackson could face up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for the charges.”

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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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