ST. PAUL, Minn.- A recent lawsuit filed by Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, indicates that a mother, Juanita Swain, and daughter, Aretina Williams, have defrauded the government of close to a million dollars.
According a press release from the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General, Swain and Williams fraudulently operated a personal care attendant (PCA) company which operated on taxpayer money. Among the fraudulent activities alleged in the lawsuit was providing a mother and her children $200,000 incare that was never provided. It was later revealed that the mother was paid to be part of the fraudulent scheme.
Another allegation within the lawsuit is that Swain and Williams collected government money for an employee who was not even employed at the PCA. Furthermore, this fictitious worker was said to have provided healthcare for a person who was at the time incarcerated.
Swanson’s charge of Swain and Williams adds two more people to a group of over 412 medical professionals who have recently been charged for health care fraud across the country. Early this week, Swanson charged seven other people for fraudulent PCAs in Hennepin County. It had been established that the leader of these seven, Lillian Richardson, was also connected to the operations of Swain and Williams, and was most likely directing their efforts as well. Richardson and the others were brought up on nine counts of racketeering and theft. Prior to Swain and Williams, the seven were thought to have stolen over $7.7 million in federal and state money. The lawsuit reveals that Richardson should not have been operating a PCA in the first place as her license has been revoked in 2013, for running a fraudulent PCA.
The 412 individuals have been charged with defrauding a total of over $1.3 billion. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated that the recent crackdown by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and state officials is the largest crackdown on health care fraud in U.S. history, according to a DOJ press release. Of those charged, 120 have been for opioid related offenses, an issue that Sessions has repeatedly stated as one his biggest focuses as head of the DOJ.