August 16, 2017 03:49 PM
Minnesota is joining 20 other states as part of a federal health care fraud takedown.
More than 400 people have been charged for their roles in health care fraud and opioid scams, which totaled more than $1.3 billion in false billing, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson also held a press conference Thursday, announcing that 10 cases in the state are included in the national takedown. Those 10 cases involved 40 search warrants and total approximately $8.6 million in charges to Medical Assistance, which is taxpayer funded and supports low-income patients.
"Medical Assistance provides an important health care safety net, and it is an affront to taxpayers when agencies bilk the system for their own financial gain," Swanson said.
Your Way Health Care Scheme
Charges were filed Thursday against 54-year-old Juanita Yevette Swain of Brooklyn Center and 33-year-old Aretina Tiaira Williams of Brooklyn Park.
According to the complaint, the two fraudulently billed the assistance program $929,000 for Your Way Home Care, Inc., an agency they co-owned.
A number of their clients were friends and family members. In one case, Your Way billed more than $200,000 for personal care attendant services for a mother and her three children.
However, the services were never provided, and kickbacks were paid to the mother, who was Williams' friend.
Williams texted her, "Christmas came early."
In a different situation, services were billed for a man who said he never worked with the agency but had completed an application, then moved out of town. Those services billed in his name were delivered to a man who was incarcerated at the time.
Text messages obtained in the investigation between Williams and care providers and "patients" talked about the availability of illegal prescription opioid painkillers.
Williams' father, 57-year-old Michael Carson of Park Forest, Illinois, was also charged. The attorney general's office said he acted as a "front," allowing Williams to open a new home health care agency after the Minnesota Department of Human Services suspended file claims from Your Way Home Health Care.
Updated: August 16, 2017 03:49 PM
Created: July 13, 2017 12:09 PM
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