A Massachusetts nurse has pleaded guilty to several charges related to an alleged $100 million home health fraud and kickback scheme.
The home health agency’s part owner and operator also charged in the case has pleaded not guilty and is pending trial, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
The nurse, Winnie Waruru, 42, of Lowell, Mass., was personally responsible for the billing of MassHealth for more than $1.2 million in skilled nursing visits, much of which was fraudulent, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release. She also passed cash payments to two patients to retain those patients, according to the DOJ.
Waruru will be sentenced in January 2023. The charges of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering conspiracy and money laundering each provide for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the amount of the money involved in the laundering. The conspiracy to pay kickbacks, make false statements and make false statement in health care matter each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.