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Jamaican national charged again with fraudulently receiving medicaid benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2013

          BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Georgia Bowen, a/k/a Georgia Bennett, 38, of Lackawanna, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with health care fraud, identity theft, and unauthorized use of social security numbers. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who is handling this case, stated that according to the complaint, in December 2010, Bowen, a native and citizen of Jamaica, applied for Medicaid benefits through the Erie County Department of Social Services. The defendant claimed to be a United States citizen and utilized a social security number assigned to another person. In January 2011, Erie County terminated Bowen’s Medicaid eligibility after learning the social security number utilized by Bowen was issued to another person.  During that time however, Medicaid was billed over $7,000 for medical services rendered to Bowen.

In November 2011, the defendant submitted another application to Erie County Department of Social fraudulently claiming to be citizen of the United States and using a social security number assigned to yet another person. Thereafter, Medicaid was billed $12,300 for medical services rendered to Bowen.

Previously, in August 2010, Bowen was sentenced in federal court to two years in prison for identity theft. The defendant used the name and social security number of another person, causing 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 proceeding against Bowen were initiated by the Department of Homeland Security. The removal proceeding is currently being litigated before the Immigration Court.    

The arrest was 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. 

            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.

 

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