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US-based Kenyan nurse pleads guilty in $100 Million home health care fraud case

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By Judith Gicobi

Winnie Waruru, a US-base Kenyan lady who was detained in January 2021 on suspicion of fraud, pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston for a $100 million alleged home health care fraud scam.

Winnie, 42, of Lowell, admitted guilt to one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud, one count of aiding and abetting health care fraud, one count of conspiring to pay and receive kickbacks, two counts of making false statements, and one count of making a false statement in a health care matter on September 8, 2022, according to justice.gov.

Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. of the U.S. Senior District Court set the sentencing date as January 12, 2023. In February 2021, co-defendant Faith Newton and Waruru were both taken into custody and charged.

Newton is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty. The indictment states that Newton ran and shared ownership of Arbor Homecare Services LLC from January 2013 to January 2017.

At Arbor, Waruru worked as a home health nurse as a licensed practical nurse.

Waruru and Newton are accused of conspiring to utilize Arbor to commit health care fraud and pay kickbacks to get referrals in order to defraud MassHealth and Medicare of at least $100 million. Following that, Newton allegedly cleared away the illicit riches.

Health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering each carry a maximum 10-year prison term, three years of post-release supervision, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the money involved in the laundering, whichever is greater.

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Allegations are made regarding the information in the court records. The remaining defendant is assumed innocent unless they are legally proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

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