Albuquerque business accused of Medicaid fraud

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque business is accused of Medicaid fraud. Among the accusations, investigators said Angel Touch Personal Care billed the government for dead and fake patients.

Just days ago, investigators with the Attorney General’s office raided Angel Touch Personal Care. They walked away with evidence suggesting fraudulent activity dating back to 2012.

In 2014, a tip led investigators to look into Angel Touch, a non-medical, home caregiver business reimbursed for services through Medicaid. Investigators spent more than 7,200 hours watching employees and patients.

After a search warrant was done Wednesday, the AG’s office believes the company committed Medicaid fraud. Angel Touch is accused of submitting claims for personal care services for dead patients, hospitalized patients, and made up patients. In other cases, patients were the spouse of the caregiver. Claims in those spousal cases totaled $330,000.

There were even issues raised of patients who don’t need personal care.

The AG’s office also said Angel Touch hired employees with criminal histories, which is illegal. This also included employees with child abuse and kidnapping convictions. Eight employees with criminal records were hired by Angel Touch from 2004 to 2015.

Charges have not been filed against the owner of Angel Touch, Mina Sharifi. However, the AG’s office has asked the human services department to consider suspending Medicaid payments to Angel Touch.

News 13 reached out to Angel Touch, looking to speak with the owner, but our calls were not returned.

In a statement to News 13, Attorney General Hector Balderas, would only say the investigation is ongoing.

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