Jamaican National Pleads Guilty To Fraudulently Receiving Medicaid Benefits And Identity Theft
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Georgia Bowen, a/k/a Georgia Bennett, 39, of Lackawanna, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. The health fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity carries a mandatory two years in prison to be served consecutive to any term imposed on the health care fraud conviction.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant, 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. Bowen claimed to be a United States citizen and utilized social security numbers assigned to other persons. As a result, Medicaid paid over $19,000 in benefits to health care providers for services provided to the defendant, benefits she 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 plea is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge and the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward Ryan.
Sentencing will be scheduled before Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.