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Final Defendant Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud in Scheme Involving Homeless and Pregnant Teenagers

PRESS ADVISORY

Final Defendant Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud in Scheme Involving Homeless and Pregnant Teenagers

March 22, 2012

Yesterday, Leetra Dometric Langston pled guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud for his role in a scheme involving God’s Promise Center, a business located in HenryCounty which purported to be a residential treatment program for homeless teenage girls. Langston was employed there as intake director. The Honorable Wade Crumbley, Superior Court Judge in HenryCounty, sentenced Langston to five years probation and ordered him to pay restitution of $20,188.90. Langston was the last of three defendants to plead guilty to the scheme.

The scheme also involved co-defendants, Stacey Watson, owner of God’s PromiseCenter, and Pamela Besong, program director of God’s PromiseCenter. An investigation revealed that Besong introduced Watson to a local physician who agreed to serve on the Board of Directors for God’s PromiseCenter, believing it to be a non-profit residential treatment program as Watson and Besong represented.  Watson then applied for a Medicaid provider number in the physician’s name without his consent.

Watson recruited pregnant teens and teenage girls with children into the residences, requiring them to apply for Medicaid as a pre-condition to living in one of the homes. Then, aided and abetted by Besong and Langston, Watson used the physician’s provider number and the recipients’ Medicaid numbers to bill for medical services. There were no rehabilitative services provided to the residents of the homes, and the investigation found that the physician had never seen patients at God’s Promise Center. Over a period of eleven months, from May of 2007 to April of 2008, the defendants obtained over $593,508.00 in Medicaid payments for services which were never rendered. 

On May 10, 2010, Besong entered a plea of guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud and was sentenced under the First Offender Act to one year in prison followed by nine years on probation. On January 24, 2011, Watson entered a plea of guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud and an additional count of Identity Fraud in connection with the falsified Medicaid provider application. Judge Crumbley sentenced Watson to ten years to serve three years in prison. Watson and Besong were ordered to pay $593,508.00 in restitution to the Georgia Department of Community Health.

The case was investigated by Investigator William Bruce, Investigator Shakethia Morgan, Nurse Investigator Beth Teague, Investigative Auditor Cliff Finney and Analyst Tish Murray of the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a unit of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Allstrom.