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Two more convicted in record Minn. Medicaid fraud

Lillian Richardson Photo courtesy Minnesota Department of Corrections

ST. PAUL -- Two people were convicted last week for defrauding Minnesota’s Medicaid program of $7.7 million.

Lillian Richardson and Bridgett Burrell were found guilty of all charges that the Minnesota attorney general’s office brought against them — one count each of racketeering and eight counts each of aiding and abetting theft by swindle.

The convictions were part of the largest case of Medicaid fraud in state court history.

“It’s shameful that these defendants illegally set up home care companies that were supposed to help people solely for the purpose of lining their own pockets,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a prepared statement. “They took advantage of vulnerable people, sullied the honest work that hard-working personal care attendants do every day, and defrauded the people of Minnesota.”

Richardson, who was first convicted of Medicaid fraud in 2012, defrauded the state Medicaid program through five home-care agencies while working remotely from Arkansas. Those agencies were enrolled in the Medicaid program under the names of her family members. Her sister, Burrell, was a part of the operation.

The duo billed the state more than $7.7 million for services that were not provided, and at times used the identities of people who did not live in Minnesota. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims were made for unlawful kickbacks and check-splitting agreements between clients and employees, including some of Richardson and Burrell’s friends and relatives.

Former Attorney General Lori Swanson announced charges against Richardson, Burrell and five others in July 2017 for the scheme.

All five of Richardson and Burrell’s accomplices pleaded guilty. Richardson and Burrell’s case was the only one that went to trial.