Smith County Woman Charged with TennCare Fraud

Thursday, April 04, 2013 | 01:36 pm

NASHVILLE, TN – A Smith County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in an indictment accusing her of falsely reporting her income in order to qualify for TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Smith County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Norman Rosie Cannon, 72, of Carthage.  Cannon is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of services.  The charges are in connection with falsely reporting her income to the Department of Human Services in order to obtain TennCare benefits she was not entitled to receive.

“It’s a simple message that we are carrying across the state – misrepresenting your household information in order to get TennCare will land you in jail or prison,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner 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.”

If convicted, Cannon could be sentenced to up to six years on the Class C felony theft of services charge, and two years on each Class E felony TennCare fraud charge.  District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson will be prosecuting.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures.  To date, over 1,700 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."