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Atlanta Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Submitting Fraudulent Bills to Medicaid and Medicare

PRESS ADVISORY

Atlanta Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Submitting Fraudulent Bills to Medicaid and Medicare

October 12, 2011

Dr. Robert Williams, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to federal prison today by United States District Judge Richard W. Story on Medicaid and Medicare fraud charges.

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

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.”

 Brian D. Lamkin, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, said, “The much needed assistance available through programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are 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, 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.

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 GeorgiaDepartment of Community Health Office of Inspector General.

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