Two Women from Maryland Charged for Committing Medicaid Fraud Schemes

Two Women from Maryland Charged for Committing Medicaid Fraud Schemes

4 Persons Have Been Indicted in One Week

Washington– Special Agent James A. Dawson in Charge of the FBI’s Field Office in Washington, Criminal Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin; Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas for the District of Columbia; and Special Agent Maureen R. Dixon in Charge of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General for the area encompassing Washington, D.C. announced that Sikirat Adunni Brown from Upper Marlboro, Maryland, age 58 and Folashade Adufe Horne from Laurel, Maryland, age 51 were both arrested on 24th June 2020 after being indicted in federal court for duping the Washington Medicaid program.

Susan Engonwei Tingwei, a Maryland Law School University Graduate, and Jane Akindipe, employed at the NIH (National Institutes of Health), were arrested on 23rd June 2020. Horne and Brown are indicted as the 3rd and 4th persons indicted with the swindling Medicaid program of D.C. 

Ankidipe, Tingwei, Horne, and Brown were each indicted in different criminal afflictions with health care fraud schemes and falsifying healthcare details while alleging to have issued personal care aide (PCA) services to Washington Medicaid recipients. Horne is accused of having swindled Medicaid from January 2014 up to now. Brown is accused of having swindled Medicaid from November 2014 to date. Tingwei is accused of having swindled Medicaid between January 2015 to November 2018. Akindipe is accused of having swindled Medicaid from January 2015 up to now.

Home health organizations hire PCAs to help D.C. Medicaid recipients with performing daily living ventures, which include eating, bathing, dressing, sleeping, and waking up.PCAs are obliged to accurately record the number of care hours they offer Medicaid recipients on-time schedules and surrender them to home health agencies, which then charge Medicaid for services offered.

As stated by the charging documents, Horne alleged to offer PCA services to recipients when in actuality, she was employed at Howard University Hospital, where she has been working since 2007. Medicaid declaration data showed that on two hundred and four isolated days in 2014, she claimed to provide twenty or more PCA services hours to several Medicaid recipients while employed by different home health organizations, including twenty-eight isolated days where she alleged to work for thirty-two hours. The charge sheet also cited that Horne alleged to offer PCA services to D.C. Medicaid recipients when she moved outside the country.

The charging documents stated that Brown claimed to offer PCA services for more than 20 hours in a day and also to numerous recipients in convergent hours. On three hundred and thirty-five instances between 2014 November and 2015 October, Brown alleged that she offered between twenty and thirty-eight PCA services hours per day. She also maintained that she offered 176 service hours in seven days, even though a week comprises 168 hours. She is further claimed to have paid bribes to more than one recipient for them to sign duplicitous timesheets.

The charging documents stipulated that Tingwei obtained a Master of Law degree from Maryland University Francis King Carey School of Law in 2017 May. On over one hundred instances, she is claimed to have presented timesheets alleging to have offered Washington D.C. with PCA services, when her schedule showed that she was supposed to be attending law school lessons in Baltimore. Law enforcement liaison carried out surveillance of Tingwei to help them in the investigation and acquired mobile phone data, which indicated the places she had previously visited. Tingwei alleged to offer PCA services in D.C. when agents of law enforcement and mobile phone information records located here in Baltimore.

The charging documents purport that Akindipe alleged to offer PCA services to D.C. Medicaid recipients when in actuality, she worked at NIH. Between operating at NIH and allegedly offering PCA services, Akindipe alleged she operated for more than 20 hours each day on three hundred and thirty-eight different instances between 2015 January and 2018 October.  She further claimed to have resulted in the billing of Medicaid for PCA services that she allegedly offered during 3 isolated periods while in the real sense, she was traveling to another country.

Akindipe, Horne, and Brown appeared before Honorable Robin M. Merriweather in U.S. District Court for the Columbia District on 24th June 2020 afternoon for their criminal offenses. Tingwei appeared before Judge Robin M. Merriweather on 23rd June 2020. An indictment is just an allegation, and the accused remains innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the court of law.

The arrests were carried out thanks to a team effort of the Health and Human Services Department Office of Inspector General, United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Columbia’s District Office of Inspector General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit who carried out investigations and prosecutions of people involved in the Washington Medicaid fraud conspiracy.

Since 2019 October, 4 personal care aide personnel have been convicted in United States District Court for swindling D.C. Medicaid. In 2019 October, Mobolaji Tina Stewart was convicted to thirteen months in prison for swindling over 500000 USD from the program. In 2019 December, Nkiru Uduji was convicted to 36 months’ probation for swindling over 500000 USD from Medicaid. In 2020 February, Rose Gana was convicted to thirteen months in federal prison for swindling over 400000 USD from Medicaid. In 2020 February, Temitope Ogunbiyi was convicted to fifteen months in prison for swindling over one million USD from Medicaid. A 5th suspect, Hope Falowo, was found guilty for swindling Medicaid over 400000 USD in 2019 November and awaiting to be sentenced. A sixth suspect, Charlotte Etongwe, was indicted through an accusation in 2019 June, and her hearing will be held on 29th July 2020. 

The Health and Human Services Department Office of Inspector General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have investigated every trial and rely on members of the public for hints and support to put an end to health care fraud. In case one has useful information about people committing or attempting to commit a health care fraud scheme, you should contact the Health and Human Services Department Office of Inspector General.

The United States Attorney Kondi Kleinman is the prosecutor involved in the cases against Brown, Horne, Akindipe, and Tingwei.

Persons charged with Health Care Fraud Conspiracy may face severe penalties. This is because the Health Care Fraud Conspiracy is a serious criminal offense severely punished under the law. In case you are indicted for Health Care Fraud Conspiracy, you must seek legal assistance to pursue and safeguard your rights. The Healthcare Fraud Group team comprises the best criminal defense attorneys with extensive expertise and provides the best possible service to achieve the result. Our team clearly understands the need to prove innocence upon an indictment of the Health Care Fraud Conspiracy. Contact us today at 888-402-4054 for any legal assistance you may need.

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