BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested a Jamaican citizen residing in Lackawanna Thursday for health care fraud, identity theft and unauthorized use of social security numbers.
Georgia Bowen, a/k/a Georgia Bennett, 38, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
According to the criminal complaint, Bowen applied for Medicaid benefits through the Erie County Department of Social Services in December 2010. The defendant claimed to be a U.S. citizen and utilized a Social Security number assigned to another person. In January 2011, Erie County terminated Bowen’s Medicaid eligibility after learning the Social Security number utilized by Bowen was issued to another person. During that time however, Medicaid was billed for more than $7,000 for medical services rendered to Bowen.
In November 2011, the defendant submitted another application to the Erie County Department of Social Services fraudulently claiming to be a citizen of the United States and using a Social Security number assigned to yet another person. Thereafter, Medicaid was billed $12,300 for medical services rendered to Bowen.
Previously, in August 2010, Bowen was sentenced in federal court to two years in prison for identity theft. The defendant used the name and Social Security number of another person, causing more than $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, ICE initiated removal proceedings against Bowen. The proceedings are currently being litigated before an immigration court.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.