SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Shreveport man was sentenced last week to 38 months in prison for stealing more than $397,000 from a privately held hospice company.
Demar Crozier Watson, 50, of Shreveport, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on one count of federal program theft. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $397,255.68 in restitution. According to evidence presented at the December 8, 2015 guilty plea, Watson worked as the office manager for a Shreveport hospice provider in 2012 and 2013. Watson was responsible for paying bills, payroll and reconciling the financials for the company. On November 7, 2013, Watson asked the owner to sign three blank checks he said would be used to pay bills for the company. After the hospice received a Medicare deposit for $176,442 on November 14, 2013, Watson wrote one of the checks to himself for $210,000. Watson obtained a cashier’s check funded with the stolen money to buy a 2014 Mercedes SL550 for a female escort for $140,000. According to evidence presented at sentencing, Watson also stole more than $90,000 by electronically transferring funds from the hospice’s bank accounts to his personal bank accounts. Watson made the transfers look legitimate by using a shell company he established and labeling them as legal fees. Watson also stole more than $96,000 from the hospice by fraudulently using a business credit card for personal items from various stores, a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with the female escort, and a number of very expensive gifts.
The FBI, Bossier City Police Department, Shreveport Police Department and the Houston Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mike O’Mara and Cytheria D. Jernigan prosecuted the case.