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October 13, 11

NEWS / Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Submitting Fraudulent Bills to Medicare and Medicaid

Thousands of Claims Included Deceased Patients, Others Never Got Treatment

ATLANTA—Dr. ROBERT WILLIAMS, 77, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to prison today by United States District Judge Richard W. Story on federal health care fraud charges.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “This doctor attempted to bilk Medicare and Medicaid for over $2 million for psychological services he never provided to elderly nursing home patients. Some of the patients were dead at the time he claimed he provided services; others never received treatment. Now he’s headed to prison.”

“Many of Georgia’s neediest citizens rely on Medicaid for access to health care. The Attorney General’s office is committed to weeding out fraud so that every dollar is spent on those who need this vital assistance,” said Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.

Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “The much needed assistance available through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid is finite and the FBI has dedicated significant investigative resources in ensuring that those programs are used properly. The FBI will continue to work with its many and varied law enforcement partners in bringing those individuals to justice who would exploit these programs and asks that anyone with information concerning Medicaid/Medicare fraud to contact their nearest FBI field office.”

WILLIAMS was sentenced to one year and three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $771,596 in restitution to Medicare and $227,846 in restitution to Georgia Medicaid. There is no parole in the federal system. WILLIAMS pleaded guilty to the charges on June 6, 2011.

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court: WILLIAMS is a licensed physician, practicing in the Atlanta area. From approximately July 2007 through October 2009, he contracted with a medical services company to provide group psychological therapy to nursing home patients in a variety of nursing homes in the Atlanta area. During that time period, over 55,000 claims were submitted to Medicare using WILLIAMS’ provider number for group psychological therapy seeking reimbursement for over $2,000,000, and ultimately causing Medicare to reimburse WILLIAMS over $750,000. During the same time period, over 40,000 Medicaid claims were submitted using WILLIAMS’ provider number for group psychological therapy, causing Georgia Medicaid to pay out over $225,000.

The investigation of WILLIAMS’ claims showed, however, that in many cases, he sought payment for services provided to beneficiaries who were dead at the time he purportedly rendered the care. In two cases, the patient died over a year before he was allegedly seen by WILLIAMS in the nursing home. Numerous claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for group psychological therapy when the beneficiary was hospitalized at the time of service and, consequently, could not have received care at the nursing home as WILLIAMS had claimed in the documents submitted.

This prosecution was the result of an investigation conducted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigators from the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Georgia Department of Community Health Office of Inspector General.

Assistant United States Attorney Nick Oldham and Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Allstrom from the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case.

For further information, please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.


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