phillip johnson dusty brown
phillip johnson dusty brown

NASHVILLE – Two people in Rutherford County are charged with TennCare fraud in connection with allegedly giving false information so one of them could enroll in the state’s healthcare insurance program.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the help of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Phillip Johnson and his girlfriend Dusty Brown. Both are 45 years old. Johnson is also charged with theft of services.

Investigators allege the girlfriend provided false documents and statements to the state as to where Johnson’s son was living. The statements resulted in TennCare paying more than $8,440.00 in fees and claims on behalf of Johnson.

“Truthful and accurate household composition reporting is the responsibility of TennCare recipients,” Inspector General Chad Holman said.  “When recipients provide false information, they will be investigated to ensure that they are held accountable.”

The TennCare fraud and theft of services charges are class D felonies. The case is being prosecuted by  District Attorney General Jennings H. Jones, who serves Rutherford and Cannon Counties.

The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has identified and investigated more than 130,349 potential fraud cases leading to more than $9.2 million being repaid to TennCare.  In the last year ending June 30, 2021, the total estimated cost avoidance was more than $7.5 million. TennCare’s budget is comprised of 65 percent federal and 35 percent state dollars. To date, 3,168 people of been charged with TennCare fraud.

The OIG’s “Most Wanted” list can be located online at https://www.tn.gov/finance/fa-oig/fa-oig-most-wanted.html. Anyone with information about a wanted subject is urged to use the contact information on the page.

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, or by logging on to www.tn.gov/oig/ and following the prompts that read “Report TennCare fraud.”

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