MN AG charges 18 in $10 million PCA Medicaid fraud

State Attorney General Keith Ellison charged 18 individuals with a range of crimes related to a $9.5 million scheme to defraud the state’s Medicaid program through a personal care assistant (PCA) business.

Ellison has charged Abdikarim Mohamed of Columbia Heights, Mohamed’s wife, Sahra Warsame, Mohamed’s business partner, Ahmed Osman Nur of New Brighton, and others with leading the scheme. It was allegedly run through a PCA company called Minnesota Professional Health Services, Inc. of Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, founded in 2004. The company is no longer active.

Charging documents indicate that the alleged scheme ran from 2016 to 2021. The defendants are accused of billing for services not provided and overbilling, among other charges.

In 2020, Mohamed donated $500 to the campaign of state Rep. Mohamed Noor (DFL-Minneapolis).

A donor by the name of Ahmed O. Nur of New Brighton, employed by “MN Professional Health Service Inc.” appears to have donated the maximum $4,000 to DFL-Governor Mark Dayton’s re-election campaign in 2014. Nur and another defendant may have each given $500 to the state Democratic party in 2020, although that cannot be confirmed.

The charging documents point out that Nur owns another company, AAA A-Z Friendly Languages, which supplies interpreting services to the state Department of Human Services.

We can confirm that another defendant, Ali Y. Elmi of Minneapolis, gave the maximum $1,000 to a Democratic state House candidate in 2022.

An alert reader points out that Mohamed and Nur’s MN Professional, along with two other PCA businesses they owned, were on the losing end of a Federal tax beef (civil case) in 2017 involving about $300,000 in unpaid payroll taxes.

We’ve written extensively about Minnesota’s PCA program, which costs the state $1 billion per year and serves 44,000 clients, providing disabled adults and the elderly with at-home care.

The state’s Legislative Auditor has studied the PCA program twice in recent years, issuing reports in 2020 and earlier in 2017.

There has been no link established between the defendants in this case and the Feeding Our Future scandal. However, MN Reformer has documented links between defendants in the free-food case and PCA businesses operated by that unrelated group of defendants.