U.S. District Court Judge Harold L. Murphy found George D. Houser guilty of one count of health care fraud, eight counts of willful failure to pay payroll taxes and two counts of failure to file income tax returns after a month-long bench trial.
Houser owned three nursing homes as part of Forum Healthcare Group — one on Moran Lake Road in Rome, one on Three Mile Road near Mount Berry Square mall in Rome and the third in Brunswick known as Wildwood.
Houser’s attorney, Bill Morrison, filed a motion last week asking Murphy to postpone sentencing so he would have more time to prepare objections to a pre-sentencing report compiled by a federal probation office and to “generally prepare for sentencing in this case.”
The prosecution did not oppose the motion, which was approved by Murphy on Thursday. Houser was originally scheduled to be sentenced June 29.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the health care fraud conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of as many as 20 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000; the charges of willful failure to pay payroll taxes to the IRS each carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of as much as $10,000 per count; and the charges of failure to file tax returns carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $25,000.
The sentencing hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 in courtroom 300 at the federal building, 600 First St.