Martinez man to pay $1.4M, gets two years in one of largest local 'fraud schemes'

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Friday, Feb. 8, 2019

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Department of Justice says a Martinez man has been sentenced to more than two years behind bars for healthcare fraud in what's been called one of the largest fraud schemes prosecuted in the Southern District.

Jonathan Duane Austin, 32, will spend 30 months in prison with no possibility of parole and pay more than $1.4 million in restitution after admitting to defrauding Medicare and Tricare for almost three years.

Court documents show Austin submitted false claims for prescription reimbursements. Those claims totaled to $1,450,000 over the three years.

Austin also provided false documents to the Social Security Administration to claim false disability.

There are two other local people who were also sentenced for healthcare fraud.

Maryanne Hudson, of Millen, 49, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison for Medicare fraud involving durable medical equipment.

Paula Padgett, of Brunswick, 49, was sentenced to probation after submitting false compensation requests to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“These types of fraud erode faith in the health care system, and we will not tolerate it,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Individuals who engage in schemes to steal from taxpayers hurt those with real health problems and the systems in place to address those needs.”