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13 charged in $5.4M health care fraud scheme

Some of the Minnesotans accused were involved in the scheme for as many as three years.

Thirteen people are charged in a $5.4 million scheme to defraud the Medicaid program. 

The scheme involved mental health practitioners and interpreters associated with Live Better, LLC, which has offices in Roseville and Minneapolis, as well as Multicultural Counseling Clinic, which has offices in St. Paul, Brooklyn Park and Burnsville, the U.S. Attorney's Office and two separate indictments say.

In their scheme, health practitioners and interpreters would submit fake claims through their employers for services allegedly provided to Medicaid recipients, the indictments say. But none of those services were actually provided. 

The indictments allege that some involved in the scheme made false claims for as many as three years, from 2014-2017, resulting in the Medicaid program paying Live Better and Multicultural Counseling Clinic more than $5.4 million, the release says. 

The 13 Minnesotans charged in connection to the scheme are: 

  • Okach Okwayoo Kwot, 51, of Columbia Heights, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
  • Elijah S. Kollie, 62, of Robbinsdale, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.
  • Abdirahman Yonis, 33, of Bloomington, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Alphonso Vasco Johnson, 58, of Oakdale, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Ilyas Abdi Farah, 38, of St. Louis Park, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Anab Artan Awad, 50, of Plymouth, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Ayan Ali Mohamud, 41, of St. Paul, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Elifaa Henry Kinyaiya, 45, of Brooklyn Park, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud.
  • Varbar B.Kanneh, 30, of New Brighton, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Eskender M. Yousuf, 39, of Maple Grove, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Hodan Abdi Hashi, 52, of Woodbury, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Omar Ali Osman, 28, of Eagan, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 
  • Ubah Hassan Hagi, 43, of Eagan, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud. 

They made their initial court appearances on Wednesday.

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