A Manhattan physician once praised for her work in AIDS treatment, has claimed in court that one of her 12 other personalities – and not her real self – was responsible for bilking Medicaid out of nearly a million dollars.
Investigators determined that Doctor Diana Williamson defrauded Medicaid out of almost exactly $1,000,000, at least $300,000 of which was her take, in a conspiracy to scam the program. Prosecutors proved that Williamson wrote bogus prescriptions for about 10,000 doses of narcotics that were bought with Medicaid benefits at pharmacies, and then peddled on the street.
Authorities said the ring dealt primarily in oxycodone, a highly addictive pain medication commonly sold on the black market for $20-40 per pill, as a heroin substitute.
At trial, the prosecution recommended an 11-year sentence for Williamson, age 50, and she was was scheduled to be sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska. But the judge decided to delay a final determination, until prison authorities could report on their ability to treat the doctor’s illnesses.
Defense attorney Jonathan Marks argued that any prison time would be a death sentence, due to the doctor’s medical issues that, “cannot be adequately managed in prison.”
Williamson’s lawyer also told the court that his client deserved leniency because, “she didn’t know she was the one carrying out crimes.” According to the doctor, the crimes were actually done by “Nala,” one of her multiple personalities. He said Nala was “mischievous, irresponsible, reckless and, as we have just discovered, criminal.”
The judge did not buy the multiple personality argument.
“I guess I’m having trouble understanding that with the defendant’s medical career, she didn’t know she was stealing money.”
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Before she turned to crime, Williamson was once named to Crane’s Business Magazine’s annual, exceptional young professionals in New York list 40 under 40, for her work at the Harlem United Community AIDS Center.
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