WASHINGTON – Janet Olatimbo Akindipe, 62, of Laurel, Maryland, pleaded guilty today in federal court to defrauding the D.C. Medicaid program out of more than a quarter million dollars.
The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin; Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Washington Field Office, Criminal Division; Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General for the region that includes Washington, D.C.; and Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Akindipe pleaded guilty to health care fraud in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Akindipe faces a likely recommended sentence of between 18 and 24 months in prison and a fine of up to $75,000. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly took the plea and scheduled sentencing for January 22, 2021.
Akindipe has worked as a full-time employee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since March 2013. At various times between November 2014 and June 2020, she also was employed by six different home health agencies to serve as a personal care aide for D.C. Medicaid beneficiaries. The home health agencies employed Akindipe to assist Medicaid beneficiaries in performing activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and eating. Akindipe was supposed to document the care she provided to the Medicaid beneficiaries on timesheets and then submit the timesheets to the home health agencies, which would in turn bill Medicaid for the services that she rendered.
Between January 2015 and June 2020, 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. She claimed she provided such services during times when she actually was working 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. 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. Akindipe acknowledged paying kickbacks to Medicaid beneficiaries to get them to sign timesheets saying she provided services that she did not actually render.
The FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, the District of Columbia’s Office of the Inspector General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to investigating and prosecuting individuals who defraud the D.C. Medicaid program. Since October 2019, five former personal care aides have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for defrauding D.C. Medicaid. In June 2020, four additional individuals, including Akindipe, were charged in criminal complaints with health care fraud and health care false statements.
The government counts on the public for tips and assistance in helping stop health care fraud. If you have information about individuals committing health care fraud, please call the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General hotline at (800) HHS‑TIPS [(800) 447-8477].
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman of the Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.