George Houser of Atlanta was found guilty by Judge Harold Murphy following a month long trial in federal court in Rome, Georgia. Houser was found guilty of health care fraud for billing Medicare and Medicaid more than $32 million related worthless services in the operation of three nursing homes he ran in Rome and Brunswick, Georgia. He was also found guilty of several tax offenses. U.S. Attorney Sally Yates said that, “It almost defies the imagination to believe that someone would use millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid money to buy real estate for hotels and a house while his elderly and defenseless nursing home residents went hungry and lived in filth and mold.” Houser opted for a trial in front of Judge Murphy, rather than a jury. Houser’s wife had previously plead guilty to misprision of a felony.
Interestingly, Houser, a Harvard Law School graduate and attorney, was hit with a $43.5 million verdict 18 months ago in a civil case handled in part by attorney Stephen Lowry of Savannah. At the trial of the wrongful death case in Superior Court in Rome, Georgia, Lowry said the evidence showed that the 80 year old father of his client was “severely neglected at the time of his death, malnourished and severely dehydrated.”
Sentencing for Houser and his wife is set for June 29.