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Mississippi woman ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution for TennCare fraud

Tennessee Office of Inspector General
Tennessee Office of Inspector General
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A Mississippi woman has been ordered to repay more than $250,000 in TennCare benefits.

Cheri Cavitt, 36, was convicted of fraudulently reporting that she lived in Tennessee and misrepresented her household information.

Cavitt pleaded guilty to a class C theft of property charge.

She was given 10 years of judicial diversion -- a one-time probation for eligible offenders who plead guilty -- and ordered to pay $258,303.64 in restitution to TennCare, the highest ordered since the Office of Inspector General began investigating TennCare fraud in 2004.

“Lying about one’s residence in order to receive TennCare benefits is a crime that can yield long-term criminal consequences,” Inspector General Kim Harmon said. “We work diligently to preserve TennCare benefits for people who are eligible for the program and anyone who has information about someone abusing the system can reach out to us anonymously by phone or on the web.”

Cavitt was arrested on May 18, 2018 and charged in Shelby County with TennCare fraud and felony theft of property exceeding $250,000.

Officials said she reported that she resided in Tennessee but was actually living in Southaven, Mississippi.

Authorities also accused her of failing to disclose her marriage in order to appear eligible for TennCare.

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.

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To date, 3,112 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.

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