Metro Detroit woman first in nation charged with stealing COVID aid money designated for medical providers

Amina Abbas, of Taylor, charged with embezzlement of government property

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DETROIT – A Metro Detroit woman has been indicted after she was accused of misappropriating government money designated to aid medical providers in treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19 and instead using it for personal use.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Amina Abbas, of Taylor, was charged Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan with embezzlement of government property.

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“This indictment includes the first criminal charges for the intentional misuse of funds intended to provide relief to health care providers and maintain the access to medical care during the pandemic, money set aside to help Americans get needed medical care in a global health and economic crisis,” reads a press release from the DOJ.

The indictment alleged that Abbas owned 1 on 1 Home Health, a company that closed in 2020 after Medicare issued an overpayment demand of $1.6 million. Officials said the company submitted claims for patients who did not qualify for home health services. While the company was not operational during the pandemic, it did receive $37,656 for medical treatment and care for COVID-19 patients. Officials said Abbas misappropriated that money, issuing checks to her family members for personal use.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General and the FBI.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, enacted in March 2020, manages the Provider Relief Fund, which assigns money for medical providers’ COVID response.

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About the Author:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.