Atlanta OB/GYN pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud

An Atlanta OB/GYN pleaded guilty Thursday to Medicaid fraud and aiding the unlicensed practice of medicine, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens’ office said Friday.

Nathaniel Johnson, owner and operator of Regency Professional Health Services for Women, was given a 10-year prison sentence, with the first six months to be served in the Fulton County Jail.

Testimony showed that Johnson knowingly employed Jeff Romeus, a recent graduate of the American International School of Medicine in Guyana, as a doctor. Romeus did not have a license to practice medicine, Olens’ office said in an emailed release.

Romeus performed exams, prescribed medications, gave diagnoses and even supervised medical students on his own. Romeus testified that from June 2006 to December 2007, he saw nearly all the office’s patients as the sole practitioner, as Johnson was rarely in the office.

During that same time period, Johnson billed Medicaid for more than $217,000, the attorney’s general office said.

Reviews of hundreds of Johnson’s patient charts found that more than 75 percent of his billing was fraudulent, according to investigators. The state’s witnesses testified that Johnson fraudulently double-charged for services rendered during pregnancies, overbilled for claims such as office visits, and failed to produce any documentation that some services were actually performed.

A review of Johnson’s bank account revealed that he spent money he had received from Medicaid to build other personal enterprises such as Tulut Entertainment and a cosmetic surgery center, Royal Cosmetics.

As part of his sentence, Johnson was ordered to surrender his license to practice medicine, have no contact with his former patients and pay restitution of stolen Medicaid funds to the Department of Community Health and the State of Georgia.

The exact amount to be repaid will be determined at an Aug. 25 hearing.