The Office of Inspector General and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office announced that 31-year old Kayla Ward Ford was charged Thursday, Sept. 3, with TennCare fraud and theft of services.
Investigators say she allegedly lied about her marital status and her husband’s income in order to receive TennCare benefits for herself and her two children.
As a result, TennCare paid approximately $20,700 in fees and claims on behalf of Ford and her children.
“Individuals who take advantage of the TennCare system and taxpayers’ money will be sought after and prosecuted,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said.
“Additionally, we appreciate the cooperation and communication of our local law enforcement authorities in bringing these people to justice.”
The theft of services charge is a class C felony and the TennCare fraud charge is a class D felony. If convicted, Ford could face penalties of up to 27 years in prison for the class C and class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by District Attorney General Dave Clark of Anderson County.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated over 5,760 criminal cases leading to more than $10.8 million being repaid to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million for TennCare, according to latest figures.
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 800-433-3982, toll-free or by logging on to tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare fraud.”