Alabama woman to repay state for stolen TennCare, food stamps - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Alabama woman to repay state for stolen TennCare, food stamps

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NASHVILLE, TN (WRCB) -- An Alabama woman must repay Tennessee for medical and pharmacy services provided through TennCare – benefits she was not eligible to receive through the state's healthcare insurance program.  In addition, the woman must repay Tennessee for food stamps she received from the state's Department of Human Services (DHS).
 
The Office of Inspector General announced on Wednesday that Shauntaye Mayo, 30, of Alabama pleaded guilty to three counts of TennCare fraud, one count of theft of services and one count of food stamp fraud.   She has been ordered to repay TennCare $23,430 and to repay $14,529 to DHS.  She also received six years judicial diversion as a part of the sentencing.
 
Mayo was indicted in June of 2011 on felony theft of services and four counts of TennCare fraud.  In addition, Shauntaye's mother, Johnetta Mayo and her mother's sister, Leona Mayo, who was a DHS employee, were each charged with TennCare fraud for helping Shauntaye get enrolled in TennCare and the food stamp program, by making false statements and concealing certain facts that would have made her ineligible for both programs. District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III prosecuted the case.
 
"We hope individuals with stealing on their mind get the message that the Office of Inspector General is serious about prosecuting TennCare fraud, especially those who are not residents of Tennessee," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.  "We will aggressively investigate these cases in order to stop this criminal activity and recover money owed to the state."
 
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."

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