NASHVILLE (press release)—An Arkansas woman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of property after she received healthcare insurance benefits through the state’s healthcare insurance program, even though she was not eligible.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Kimberly M. Rounsaville, 39, of Blytheville, Arkansas. She is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and theft of property over $60,000. The arrest was assisted by the Gulf States U.S. Marshall’s Task Force and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
A Shelby County indictment accuses Rounsaville of fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by certifying that she and her two minor children lived in Tennessee, when in fact she was a resident of Arkansas.
“We intend to prosecute anyone, regardless of where they live, if they lie to get TennCare health benefits they are not entitled to receive,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “People who cross the state line to gain a benefit available to Tennesseans are stealing taxpayer dollars.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Theft of property over $60,000 is a Class B felony punishable by up to twelve years in prison. District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,375 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 from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”