NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Authorities have charged a Sullivan County woman they say received more than $50,000 in TennCare benefits she wasn’t eligible for due to income.
A state Office of Inspector General (OIG) news release says Brittany Craft, 32, was charged with one count each of TennCare fraud and theft of services. Investigators allege that Craft’s employment status and income had made her ineligible to receive the state’s version of the Medicaid program for low-income adults, but that she failed to report those facts to TennCare.
A presentment from a Sullivan County grand jury dated June 8 shows that Craft’s alleged fraudulent use of TennCare began in early June 2017 and continued for more than four years, into July of 2021.
The release says TennCare ended up paying providers more than $51,631 for care received by Craft, her husband and their two children.
TennCare fraud is a Class D felony, while theft of services is a Class C felony. In the case of “range I” sentences, Class C felonies carry a sentencing range of three to six years while Class D felonies have a two to four-year range.
Tennessee’s Inspector General Chad Holman said the investigation into Craft revealed “a perfect example of how misappropriated taxpayer dollar amounts can quickly amass if left unchecked.” He added that the OIG and its staff members “continue to review allegations and internal data in our effort to safeguard the TennCare program.”
The OIG has investigated more than 130,000 potential fraud cases since 2005, and nearly 3,200 people have been charged with TennCare fraud during that time. More than $9 million has been repaid to the program as a result of the successful prosecutions.
The release said OIG’s “Cash for Tips” program allows Tennesseans to get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. That starts by calling 1-800-433-3982 or visiting tn.gov/oig/ and following prompts for “report TennCare fraud.”