Wilson Co. Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud
NASHVILLE – A Wilson County woman faces criminal charges for allegedly falsely reporting financial dependents so she could appear eligible for the state’s TennCare healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in a joint effort with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of 36-year-old Brittney Parsons-Spears, who is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. Investigators allege that she falsely claimed to have full custody of her two children when she applied for TennCare and so she could continue receiving TennCare benefits, even though she was not truly eligible for the program. As a result, TennCare paid more than $104,191.63 in fees and claims for healthcare services through the program.
“This case reflects how those who misrepresent their household composition can amass huge amount of medical claims that directly affect the taxpayers of Tennessee,” Inspector General Chad Holman said. “Had Ms. Parsons-Spears been truthful during the application process, these benefits could have theoretically been re-directed toward people truly eligible for TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a class D felony, while theft of services is a class B felony. The case is being prosecuted by District 15 Attorney General Jason L. Lawson, who serves Jackson, Macon, Smith, Trousdale and Wilson counties.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has identified and investigated more than 130,349 potential fraud cases leading to more than $9.2 million being repaid to TennCare. In the last year ending June 30, 2021 total estimated cost avoidance was more than $7.5 million. TennCare's budget is comprised of 65 percent federal and 35 percent state dollars. To date, 3,161 people of been charged with TennCare fraud.
The OIG’s “Most Wanted” list can be located online at https://www.tn.gov/finance/fa-oig/fa-oig-most-wanted.html. Anyone with information about a wanted subject is urged to use the contact information on the page.
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.”