A US-based Kenyan woman has been charged in connection with a $100 million home health care fraud scheme.
41-year-old Winnie Waruru of Lowell, Massachusetts was charged on Monday alongside 52-year-old Faith Newton of Westford.
Each of the two was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, one count of health care fraud, and one count of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks.
Waruru also faced two counts of making false statements and one count of making a false statement in a health care matter.
Newton was also indicted for seven counts of money laundering and one count of money laundering conspiracy.
The charge sheet indicates that Newton was part owner and operator of Arbor Homecare Services LLC from January 2013 to January 2017, while Waruru was a Licensed Practical Nurse employed as a home health nurse at Arbor.
The two are accused of engaging in a conspiracy to use Arbor to defraud MassHealth and Medicare of at least $100 million by committing health care fraud and paying kickbacks to induce referrals. Newton then allegedly laundered the ill-gotten money.
Newton also allegedly developed sham employment relationships to pay kickbacks for patient referrals. She specifically targeted vulnerable patients who are low-income earners, those with disability or suffering from depression or addiction.
It is alleged that Arbor billed for home health services that were not authorized, never provided, or medically necessary.
Waruru is accused of billing MassHealth for her skilled nursing visits that she did not perform and passing cash payments from Newton to an Arbor patient to retain that patient.
Newton is alleged to have used the laundered proceeds of the $100 million scheme to acquire several homes and a Maserati and to fund investment accounts, a lavish lifestyle, and numerous financial transactions.
The US government is seeking forfeiture of five properties and 40 financial accounts and investments involved in the scheme.