Jamaican National Indicted for Fraudulently Receiving Medicaid Benefits
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury in Buffalo has returned a four-count indictment charging Georgia Bowen, a/k/a Georgia Bennett, 38, of Lackawanna, N.Y., with health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
Assistant United States Attorney John E. Rogowski, who is handling this case, stated that according to the indictment, Bowen, a native and citizen of Jamaica, applied for Medicaid benefits through the Erie County Department of Social Services on three separate occasions in December 2010, November 2011, and June 2013. The defendant claimed to be a United States citizen and utilized social security numbers assigned to other persons. In August of this year, the defendant was charged in a criminal complaint in connection with the 2010 and 2011 applications which resulted in Medicaid paying over $19,000 in benefits to health care providers for services provided to Bowen, benefits for which the defendant was not entitled to receive.
In August 2010, Bowen was sentenced in federal court to two years in prison after being convicted of identity theft in connection with her fraudulent use of the name and social security number of another person which caused over $13,000 in Medicaid benefits to be paid through the Erie County Department of Social Services for medical services she had received. As a result of that conviction, removal proceedings against Bowen were initiated by the Department of Homeland Security.
The indictment is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero and the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward Ryan.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.