NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Lawrence County woman is charged in two counties with TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Crystal D. Dickey, 32, of Lawrenceburg. She’s charged in indictments out of both Lawrence and Giles counties with TennCare fraud for failing to accurately report information about her household and her income, all so that she could qualify for TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
Authorities say that in both counties, Dickey failed to disclose information that would have made her ineligible for TennCare, receiving a total of $9,248.92 in healthcare insurance benefits. She was served first in Lawrence County criminal court and then transferred to the Giles County jail where she was served with additional charges.
“This is a common scheme used by people who make themselves look poor on paper while the taxpayers are picking up the tab for their medical services,” Inspector General Manny Tyndall said. “We have uncovered various schemes that people are using to defraud the TennCare program, but bringing these folks to justice sends a message that we’re going to prosecute these cases.”
District Attorney General Brent Cooper will be prosecuting both cases. As of July 1, 2016, TennCare fraud was changed to a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures. To date, 2,737 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or visit the website and follow prompts that read “Report TennCare Fraud.”