WASHINGTON – Janet Olatimbo Akindipe, 62, of Laurel, Maryland, was sentenced today to 13 months in prison for defrauding the DC Medicaid program with more than a quarter of a million dollars.
The announcement was made by acting US attorney Michael R. Sherwin; James A. Dawson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Washington Field Office, Criminal Division; Maureen R. Dixon, Special Representative of the US Department of Health’s inspector-general for the region including Washington, DC; and Daniel W. Lucas, inspector general of the District of Columbia.
At various times between November 2014 and June 2020, Akindipe was employed by six different home health authorities to serve as a personal care assistant to DC Medicaid beneficiaries. The home health authorities employed Akindipe to assist Medicaid beneficiaries in performing daily living activities such as: B. when getting in and out, bathing, getting dressed and eating. Akindipe should document the care she provided to Medicaid beneficiaries on timesheets, and then submit the timesheets to home health authorities, who in turn would bill Medicaid for the services she provided.
Between January 2015 and June 2020, Akindipe arranged for the DC Medicaid program to make payments totaling $ 269,808 for services it failed to provide. As part of her fraud program, she submitted fake timesheets to various home health authorities claiming she provided personal care services that she had not provided. She claimed she provided such services during times when she was actually working her shift as a full-time employee at the National Institutes of Health. She claimed to work more than twenty hours on any given day on more than 300 occasions. She also claimed to be providing personal care services in the District of Columbia on days when she was not even in the United States. As part of her fraud program, she paid setbacks to get Medicaid beneficiaries to sign bogus timesheets.
In addition to being sentenced to 13 months in prison, Akindipe was ordered to be released under custody for three years, with a refund of $ 269,808 and a forfeiture sentence of $ 119,773.
The FBI, the Inspectorate General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Medicaid Anti-Fraud Unit Office of the Inspector General in District of Columbia, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have an obligation to investigate and prosecute anyone who defrauds the DC Medicaid program. As of October 2019, six former personal hygiene aides, including Akindipe, have been convicted of Medicaid fraud in the U.S. District Court. A seventh former nursing assistant is expected to plead guilty. Cases against two other nursing assistants are still outstanding.
The government is counting on the public for advice and assistance in fighting healthcare fraud. If you have any information about individuals who commit healthcare fraud, please call the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s hotline at (800) HHS-TIPS [(800) 447-8477].
The Fraud Section’s US Assistant Attorney Kondi Kleinman was pursuing the case.