NASHVILLE (press release)—A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for falsely reporting her income in order to obtain TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Division, today announced the arrest of Kimberly Bonds, 28, of Memphis. She is charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of theft of property. Bonds is accused of falsely reporting her income to the state in order to obtain TennCare benefits. Had she truthfully reported her income, she would have been denied TennCare benefits.
“People who lie about their income or household information are stealing, and putting themselves at risk of felony criminal prosecution,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “People who commit TennCare fraud are taking something they’re not entitled to, and they’re taking it from all the taxpayers of Tennessee.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Theft of property over $10,000 is a Class D felony punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Amy P. 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, 2,377 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 TN.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”