March 29, 2012

Former Aberdeen doctor Antoine Johnson and his mother Lawanda Johnson were sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma for more than two dozen federal felonies connected with their operation of four health care clinics in Western Washington, said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. The Johnsons were convicted in November 2011, following a three week jury trial.

Antoine Johnson was sentenced to 151 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $1,281,873 in restitution for 24 counts of health care fraud, four counts of filing false income tax returns and five counts of illegal drug distribution.

Lawanda Johnson was sentenced to 87 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $1,227,746 in restitution for 24 counts of health care fraud and six counts of filing false income tax returns.

Sentencing them to the high end of the guidelines range, U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton said the Johnsons “manipulated the standard of care for patients, they have manipulated the rules of reimbursement, they manipulated the Hippocratic Oath, they manipulated the Justice system….They have invented more excuses than they distributed pills.”

In 2008 Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force and the Washington State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that the clinics were dispensing a high number of prescriptions such as Oxycodone and Methadone without examining the patient. Johnson was the only medical doctor employed at the “Broadway Clinic” in Aberdeen and the “Johnson Family Practice” clinics in Tacoma, Lakewood, and Lacey.

The Johnsons closed their clinics and left the United States shortly after search warrants were executed at the four clinics and the residence of Lawanda Johnson in January 2009. The pair fled the United States, driving to Canada, from where they flew to Scotland, and then to Madagascar. The United States State Department worked with the FBI and Madagascar authorities resulting in the return of the Johnsons to the United States, where they were arrested and held for trial.

Categories: Harbor News
%d bloggers like this: