By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota mother and daughter are accused of defrauding close to $1 million in a home health care scam.

It’s just one of many cases in a national crackdown on health care fraud that was announced Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a 10-count criminal complaint against a Juanita Swain, of Brooklyn Center, and her daughter, Aretina Williams.

The state says the duo stole $929,000 from the taxpayer funded Medical Assistance Program through their Your Way Home Care agency.

They allegedly used three tactics: They submitted claims for services not rendered, used care providers’ IDs to submit false claims, and paid illegal kickbacks to get clients, often family and friends, to stay with the agency.

“They would remain with the agency and not blow the whistle on the fraud,” Swanson said. “Sort of sweetening the pot for these recipients.”

Earlier in the week the attorney general also filed a nine-count criminal complaint against Swain’s cousin, Lillian Richardson. She was arrested for a separate Medical Assistance scam where she and six others stole $7.7 million.

The women are three of the 412 people charged in a nationwide crackdown on health care fraud. The Justice Department says it plans to continue nationwide.

“We are sending a clear message to criminals across this country,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “We will find you, we will bring you to justice, and you will pay a high price for what you have done.”

Kate Raddatz