TWO IN SMITH COUNTY CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE – Two Smith County women are each charged with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Marisa A. Leech, 19, of Elmwood and Tina A. Shrum, 23, of Gordonsville. The arrests were assisted by the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.
Leech is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for allegedly obtaining TennCare medical assistance benefits that she was not entitled to by presenting an altered prescription for Lortab to be billed through her TennCare.
In a separate case, Shrum is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for fraudulently obtaining medical assistance benefits, through a willful false statement or other fraudulent means.
"Our mission is to preserve the integrity of the TennCare program by preventing fraud and abuse of the program, especially in the area of prescription drugs," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Local officials have been incredibly helpful because they also want to stop prescription drug abuse in their communities.”
If convicted Leech and Shrum could each face up to two years in prison. District Attorney Tom P. Thompson will prosecute each case.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 700 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $75 million, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."