Laurel woman convicted of DC Medicaid fraud

A Laurel, Maryland, woman pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the D.C. Medicaid program out of $269,808.

Janet Olatimbo Akindipe, 62, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in D.C.’s U.S. District Court.

Akindipe could serve up to 10 years in prison, but “faces a likely recommended sentence of between 18 and 24 months in prison and a fine of up to $75,000,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who accepted the plea, is scheduled to sentence Akindipe on Jan. 22, 2021.

Akindipe has been a full-time employee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since March 2013.

The Justice Department said “at various times between November 2014 and June 2020, Akindipe also was employed by six different home health agencies to serve as a personal care aide for D.C. Medicaid beneficiaries,” to help clients “in performing activities of daily living.”

“Akindipe caused the D.C. Medicaid Program to issue payments totaling $269,808 for services that she did not render. As part of her fraud scheme, she submitted false timesheets to different home health agencies purporting that she provided personal care aide services that she did not provide.”

From January 2015 trough June 2020, the Justice Department said Akindipe claimed she provided those services during times when she was actually her shift at the National Institutes of Health.

“She claimed to work more than twenty hours in a given day on more than 300 occasions,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“She also claimed to provide personal care aide services in the District of Columbia on days when she was not even in the United States, but traveling abroad instead.”

The Justice Department said “Akindipe acknowledged paying kickbacks to Medicaid beneficiaries to get them to sign timesheets saying she provided services that she did not actually render.”

Five former personal care aides have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for defrauding D.C. Medicaid since October 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Four more people, including Akindipe, were charged in criminal complaints with health care fraud and health care false statements in June.

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