NASHVILLE -- Five residents of Bridgeport, Ala., have been indicted on separate state felony fraud charges involving TennCare, Tennessee Inspector General Kim Harmon announced Monday.
Indictments charge the five with claiming to live in Tennessee when they actually resided in Alabama which disqualifies them for enrollment in the state's Medicaid health program for low income pregnant mothers, parents and their children, the disabled and some elderly.
"Providing false information in order to personally gain TennCare benefits is a crime," Inspector General Kim Harmon said in a statement. "The Office of Inspector General works diligently to deter TennCare fraud and to protect its resources."
All five Bridgeport residents are charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services. The Alabama town is about six miles away from South Pittsburg, Tenn.
Those indicted are:
* Bradley Parker, 45, who authorities say fraudulently reported he and his minor child were residents of Tennessee in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits but lived in Alabama.
* Amber Parrish, 23, accused of claiming that she and her minor child were residents of Tennessee in order to be eligible for TennCare benefits.
* Robin Miller, 31, charged with reporting that she and her minor child were residents of Tennessee in order to receive TennCare benefits.
* Cassandra Henry, 29, accused of falsely reporting that she and her minor child were residents of Tennessee in order to receive TennCare benefits.
* Jacqueline Shrum, 32, accused of falsely reporting that she and her minor child were residents of Tennessee in order to receive TennCare benefits.
Twelfth Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor is handling the prosecutions. TennCare fraud is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison per charge.
In its nearly 14 1/2 year existence, the state Office of Inspector General, which is separate from TennCare, has investigated cases leading to more than $3 million in monetary recoveries for TennCare with an estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for the program.
To date, 3,102 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Lola Potter, a Tennessee Department of Finance spokeswoman, said authorities learned of the alleged fraud based on several tips.
Under the state's Cash for Tips Program established by the state Legislature, Tennesseans can be eligible for cash rewards when they report TennCare fraud that leads to a conviction.
Those wishing to report TennCare fraud can call 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."
Contact Andy Sher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter @AndySher1.