Nashville, Tenn. – A Lewisburg, TN man is charged with TennCare fraud and felony theft of property.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of David Walter Tucker of Marshall County, Tennessee. The arrest is the result of a joint effort with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department. He’s charged 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. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Robert Carter.
Investigators say Tucker applied for TennCare benefits, claiming an income of $313.00 per month when his actual salary was many times that amount, approximately $3,500 a month. He also reported that he had a dependent son in his household when the son was living with the other estranged parent.
Additionally, Tucker is accused of using his brother’s social security information on a job application so the wage information was not identified by TennCare.
“The TennCare program is designed to provide benefits for the residents of Tennessee who rightfully qualify,” Inspector Kim Harmon said. “The Office of Inspector General has demonstrated a proven commitment through our diligent investigation process to ensure that our taxpayer’s money is being used properly. It is our duty to ensure that those who choose to commit fraud will be sought out and prosecuted.”
If convicted, Tucker could face up to 27 years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 3,124 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982, toll-free, or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare fraud.”