Kenyan woman in Massachusetts charged with $2.7M Medicaid fraud

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A Kenyan woman in Worcester Massachusetts has been charged with stealing  $2.7 million by filing false Medicaid claims through her health care company.

Hellen Kiago, 47 was arrested Wednesday for routinely over-billing and falsely billing for services that were not authorized.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office began an investigation after several of Ms. Kiago’s former employees complained to the office alleging misconduct and fraudulent billing practices.

She was charged with five counts of Medicaid false claims and one count of larceny over $250 by false pretenses.

According to indictment records Ms. Kiago and her company, Lifestream Healthcare Alliance LLC, had been billing MassHealth for home health provided to patients that were not authorized by a physician since 2015.

Ms. Kiago also allegedly instructed an employee to forge physician signatures on certain patient plans of care that were not signed. Even on those instances where a physician had authorized the services, she would bill for more hours than was authorized.

She also allegedly retained more than allowed from payments received from MassHealth.

Assistant Attorney General Nita Klunder said at Ms. Kiago’s arraignment on Wednesday that two days after her office went to the company premises with a search warrant, Ms. Kigo opened an account in her daughter’s name and deposited some money therein.

She also deposited is also alleged to have transferred $1 million to an account in Kenya. She wired another $500,000 to the Kenyan account two months later. The father of her daughter lives in Kenya.

Ms. Kiago then married fellow Lifestream employee Cheyne Johnson within two weeks of the search and she received her green card in June.

After an extensive search by authorities, $233,000 was found in Ms. Kiago’s daughter’s bank account, and an additional $483,000 in two other bank accounts. $6,000 was also found in her husband’s account.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge Janet Kenton-Walker set bail at $100,000 cash or $1 million with surety. Ms. Kiago was ordered to surrender her passport and to call the Probation Department weekly.

The case was continued to Dec. 6.

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