Judge Harold L. Murphy, of Rome, found 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.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent at the time of Houser’s indictment in April 2010, 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 payroll taxes charges carry a maximum sentence of as many as 5 years in prison on each count and a fine of as much as $10,000 per count and the charges of failure to file tax return carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $25,000.
During the month-long bench trial heard in U.S. District Court in Rome, witnesses testified that residents in Houser’s three nursing homes — two in Rome and one in Brunswick —were underfed and were not properly cared for and the buildings had leaky roofs, rotting garbage and flies.
Meanwhile, Houser was driving luxury cars and purchasing land with dreams of building a hotel and retail complex.
Houser’s wife, Rhonda Houser, was indicted with him on a count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and pleaded guilty last year.
A sentencing date for Rhonda Houser has not been set.
Also on Monday, Murphy dismissed a motion filed on March 21 by Houser on his own behalf asking for a mistrial, saying that Houser could not file a motion pro se while still being represented by attorneys and he had not been giving permission by the court to represent himself. Houser is a licensed attorney.
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