Two Massachusetts women were arrested on Sunday, January 31, in connection with a $ 100 million home care fraud.
The government is trying to recover funds as well as five properties that were allegedly bought with stolen funds.
On Monday February 1, Faith Newton, 52, from Westford and Winnie Waruru, 41, from Lowell were charged with conspiracy to charge health-care fraud. Health Care Fraud – Aid; and conspiracy to pay and receive setbacks, according to the Massachusetts Attorney’s Office.
Newton was also charged with money laundering conspiracies and seven money laundering cases.
Waruru was also charged with two cases of false testimony and false testimony on a health matter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
According to court records, Newton was a partner and operator of Arbor Homecare Services LLC from January 2013 to January 2017 (when Arbor went out of business), and Waruru was a licensed practical nurse with Arbor.
It is alleged that Arbor was not trained by Newton and other staff, was billed for home health services that were never provided or not medically necessary, and for home health services that were never authorized, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Newton and others are accused of paying setbacks for patient referrals regardless of medical need. They also allegedly entered into bogus employment with the patients’ family members to provide care that was medically unnecessary and that was routinely billed for fictitious visits that Newton knew did not take place.
In a separate civil lawsuit, Newton is also charged with targeting vulnerable, low-income people who are disabled and / or suffer from depression and / or addiction, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Waruru and Arbor reportedly billed MassHealth to Waruru’s qualified care visits, many of which were missed.
According to the indictment, Waruru and Arbor MassHealth billed Waruru’s qualified care visits, many of which were not made. Waruru also passed cash payments from Newton on to an Arbor patient in order to keep that patient.
Money allegedly stolen through the program has been used to buy homes, buy a Maserati, fund investments, and partake in a lavish lifestyle, US prosecutors said. The civil lawsuit seeks the loss of five properties that lawyers believe were bought with stolen money. The properties are in North Andover, Chelmsford, Dracut and Westford. The US is also demanding the loss of 40 bank accounts and / or investments that it believes were bought with stolen funds.
If found guilty of the charges, the women face prison terms of up to 15 years and fines.
Agencies involved in the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Newton and Waruru include the U.S. Department of Health, the Inspector General’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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