Aided by the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office, Inspector General Kim Harmon today announced the arrest of 27-year-old Kayla Hickman of Dayton on charges that could put her behind bars for up to ten years.
Hickman is charged with TennCare fraud and theft of services over $10,000 because she falsely reported her income and household makeup. She allegedly failed to report the father of her children was living in the home and contributing to the household income, both of which would have made her ineligible for TennCare.
Harmon said citizens are rightfully angered by abuse of federal and state tax dollars earmarked for helping those in need. “We appreciate the assistance of the local law enforcement in coordinating the arrest in this case,” Harmon added.
TennCare fraud, a Class-D felony, is punishable by up to four years in prison. Theft of services over $10,000 is a Class-C felony that carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
Since February 2005, the Office of the Inspector General has investigated cases that have led to more than $3 million being repaid to TennCare. To date, 3,077 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
The Cash for Tips Program, established by the state legislature, enables Tennesseans to earn cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. To report suspected fraud to the OIG, call 800-433-3982, toll free from anywhere in the state; or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig/ and follow the “Report TennCare Fraud” prompts.