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Michigan woman first charged with stealing COVID-19 medical aid

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Brownstown Township health care provider is accused of misappropriating money intended to help professionals treat COVID-19 patients, becoming the first person charged nationally with such a federal crime.

Amina Abbas, 35, owned 1 on 1 Home Healthcare, a company that shuttered before the pandemic emerged year but received $37,657 to treat and care for COVID-19 patients. Instead, Abbas spent the money by cutting checks to relatives for their personal use, prosecutors said.

She did not respond to a message seeking comment Thursday. If convicted, Abbas could face up to 10 years in federal prison.

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The case against Abbas represents a new twist on broader allegations of fraud involving COVID-19 aid. 

Several people from Metro Detroit have been charged in recent months with fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 financial assistance designed to help people endure the pandemic. The allegations against Abbas focuses on a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that involves a fund to help medical providers fight COVID-19.

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Abbas and her company appear to have faced financial problems leading up to the indictment. The company closed early last year after Medicare officials demanded reimbursement for $1,619,967, prosecutors said. The company had submitted claims for patients who failed to qualify for home health services, according to the government.

Abbas, meanwhile, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy Jan. 7, listing $150,851 in assets and more than $2 million in liabilities.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @robertsnellnews