ADVERTISEMENT

Mpls. home health care agency operator accused of fraud

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • January 10, 2013 - 10:53 PM

The operator of a Minneapolis home health care agency stands accused of filing bogus Medicaid billings totaling more than $400,000, his second legal round of legal trouble while a businessman in the city.

Abshir M. Ahmed, 40, of Minneapolis, was charged Tuesday in federal court in Minneapolis with health care fraud. Prosecutors say that between January 2008 and June 2011, Ahmed submitted false claims through Lucky Home Health Care Inc. for services by personal care assistants that were not actually performed.

If convicted, Ahmed faces up to 10 years in prison.

Financial abuse by agencies serving the vulnerable and aging in their homes has been a growing problem in Minnesota. A 2009 report by Legislative Auditor James Nobles said inadequate state oversight of the personal care assistance program left it "unacceptably vulnerable to fraud and abuse."

Nobles' office discovered 423 instances where private agencies claimed a care assistant worked more than 24 hours in a day.

"This is a very important service," Nobles said at the time, noting it often allows frail people to stay at home and out of nursing homes. At the time of the audit, the state Department of Human Services supported many of the recommendations.

Ahmed also ran afoul of the law in the late 1990s while co-owner of the Jubbaland restaurant on E. Franklin Avenue, since closed, which was cited several times for health violations.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

© 2014 Star Tribune