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Nick Shepherd

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Kingsport woman picks up second TennCare fraud charge

April 25th, 2014 3:26 pm by Nick Shepherd

Kingsport woman picks up second TennCare fraud charge

Kristy Dawn Kindle

A Kingsport woman who falsely claimed to be pregnant in order to obtain TennCare benefits has received a second charge of TennCare fraud, this time in Washington County.

Kristy Dawn Kindle, 37, was picked up from the Sullivan County Jail on April 16 , where she was serving time on an unrelated charge, and transported to the Washington County Jail and charged in a second indictment with claiming to be pregnant in order to obatin TennCare benefits.

Without this claim, she would not have been eligible for the state's Medicaid program, a press release from the Office of Inspector General stated.

Kindle was charged in October of last year in Sullivan County, and was accused of TennCare fraud and seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and perjury. She pleaded guilty to those charges and was ordered to serve three and one-half years in community corrections. She was also ordered to serve 200 hours of community service and to pay restitution to TennCare for services received while she was on the program along with court and restitution costs.

The Office of Inspector General claimed in October that Kindle gained coverage in the state health care program with a false claim of pregnancy, then used the benefits to obtain Buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance.

"People who think it's a simple matter to lie to get healthcare benefits through TennCare are taking a big risk -- they could go to jail or prison, have to repay the program and could lose the right to apply for TennCare in the future," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said in a release.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Anthony Clark is prosecuting.

Kindle has posted bond.

Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program, 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. You can also click here and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."

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