Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Los Angeles Medi-Cal Fraud - Drug Treatment Facility Owners Charged

Two Inglewood women whose South Los Angeles company offered substance abuse treatment programs have been arrested. Their charges include more than two-dozen federal charges involving defrauding Medi-Cal by billing $2 million for ineligible services.

Mesbel Mohamoud, 45, and Erlinda Abella, 63, were both taken into custody on Tuesday.

Mohamoud is the owner and executive director of The New You Center and her mother-in-law is the firm's program director. The company provided substance abuse treatment services through Drug Medi-Cal program to adults and teenagers in Los Angeles County.

The indictment alleges that the company submitted fake bills for counseling sessions that never took place. Mohamoud and Abella billed and falsified documents related to services that never took place and even forged client signatures. More than $1.8 million was collected based on the falsified documents that were sent out to clients.

Both defendants were arraigned in Los Angeles on Tuesday. There is a two-year mandatory sentence associated with each of the identity theft counts on top of the additional time for each health care fraud charges that could be anywhere from 10 years and possibly even longer.

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