A Kenyan woman has been arrested in Worcester, Massachusetts and charged with stealing Sh278 million ($2.7 million) through Medicaid fraud.Hellen Kiago, 47, has been charged with defrauding the state’s Medicaid system through her Lifestream Healthcare Alliance, LLC company by over-billing and billing for unauthorized services.At her arraignment on Wednesday at Worcester Superior Court, Massachusetts Assistant General Nita Klunder said Ms Kiago defrauded the system by instructing her employees to forge physician signatures for care that was not authorized by a physician.
She also reportedly billed for more hours than was authorized by physicians.
Lifestream Healthcare Alliance has offices in Worcester and Dracut, the court heard.
Assistant General Nita Klunder said that two days after a search warrant at the two offices on December 1st of last year, Ms Kiago opened a bank account under her daughter’s name and deposited money into the account.
On July 28th, authorities say, they found $233,000 in the daughter’s account, and another $483,000 in two other accounts.
In January of this year, the accused wired $1 million to a bank account in Kenya, and another $500,000 to the same bank account two months later.
Ms Kiago, who is facing five counts of Medicaid false claims and one count of larceny over $250 by false pretences, pleaded not guilty and her bail was set at $100,000 cash.
The accused’s defense attorney told the court that Hellen came to the US on a scholarship in 1998 and holds two Masters degrees. The attorney also said she worked as a teacher in Worcester from 2001 to 2014.
In addition to the health care company, Ms Kiago owns a transport company, Lifestream Transportation, the attorney said.
The accused was also ordered by Judge Janet Kenton-Walker to surrender her passport and report to the probation office every week if she manages to get out on bail. Her next court appearance has been set for December 6.