PORTLAND — Two Twin Cities men and a Winthrop woman accused in federal court of health care welfare fraud are scheduled for a January trial.

A federal grand jury last month handed up a 27-count indictment charging Garat Osman, 32, and Abdirashid Ahmed, 38, both of Lewiston, and Nancy Ludwig, 65, of Winthrop with felonies related to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services investigation into claims that interpreters were bringing clients to health care providers in exchange for kickbacks.

They recently entered not guilty pleas to the charges.

The indictment claims Ahmed and Osman, who offered interpreting services through various companies, engaged in health care fraud involving MaineCare — Maine’s Medicaid program — and received kickbacks.

Both men are accused of referring MaineCare beneficiaries to health care providers and served as Somali interpreters, according to investigators. In some cases, they overbilled for services or billed for services that were not provided in fraudulent billing to Medicaid, according to the indictment.

Ludwig, owner of Facing Change, a MaineCare provider in Lewiston that offered mental health and substance abuse counseling, is charged with paying health care kickbacks, making a false statement and obstructing a federal audit.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court, according to court files.

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