NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rutherford County woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services in an indictment alleging that she falsely reported her income to receive TennCare benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of 40-year old Tonya S. Bowman of Murfreesboro.
Authorities say Bowman under reported her income to the state, resulting in TennCare payments of $4,159.75 on her behalf to healthcare providers. If her actual income had been reported, she would not have qualified for the state program.
“The Office of Inspector General is determined to catch people who try to take advantage of Tennessee’s Medicaid program,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We will continue to demonstrate a proven commitment through our diligent
investigation process to ensure that our taxpayer’s money is being used properly.”
If convicted, Bowman could face penalties of up to a maximum of 24 years in prison for both Class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Jennings H. Jones of Rutherford County.
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. 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, 3,134 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.”