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Owner of Henry County Treatment Center Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud and Identity Fraud

PRESS ADVISORY

Owner of Henry County Treatment Center Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud and Identity Fraud

January 24, 2011

Stacey Watson, owner of God’s PromiseCenter, entered a guilty plea today to one count of Medicaid Fraud and one count of Identity Fraud, both felonies under Georgia law.  Watson was sentenced by Henry County Superior Court Judge Wade Crumbley to three years imprisonment, to be followed by seven years probation, and he ordered Watson to pay restitution to the Georgia Medicaid program in the amount of $593,508.

Promise Center held itself out as a residential treatment program for young women who are or who recently were pregnant.   Data mining undertaken on behalf of the Medicaid program revealed that a doctor on PromiseCenter’s board had the highest amount paid per recipient of any physician provider in the state.  A subsequent investigation revealed that while the doctor did serve on the board of PromiseCenter, he had neither given Watson nor anyone else at PromiseCenter permission to enroll him in the Medicaid program.  Further, investigation revealed that he had never seen patients at PromiseCenter nor had he signed the Medicaid provider enrollment application filed in his name.  Investigative interviews of former employees revealed that no one had ever seen that doctor nor any other doctor at PromiseCenter’s facilities, nor did they know of any substance abuse treatment actually provided by Promise Center.  PromiseCenter billed $593,508.69 on behalf of 46 Medicaid recipients during the course of the fraud.

Pamela Besong, Program Director for PromiseCenter, previously entered a guilty plea in this case and received a sentence of one year imprisonment followed by nine years on probation.

Investigation of this case was handled for the state by members of the Georgia Healthcare Fraud Control Unit, and Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Allstrom prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Georgia.