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Laurel woman sentenced to 13 months in prison for Medicaid fraud

A Laurel woman was sentenced to 13 months in prison for defrauding the Washington, D.C., Medicaid program out of more than a quarter-million dollars, according to a news release by the Department of Justice.

Between November 2014 and June 2020, Janet Olatimbo Akindipe, 62, was employed by six different home health agencies to serve as a personal care aide for D.C. Medicaid beneficiaries. For each beneficiary, Akindipe was to document the care she provided — including helping with activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing and eating — on time sheets submitted to the home health agencies. The agencies then billed Medicaid for the services that she rendered.

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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 time sheets to different home health agencies for personal care services she did not provide. She provided such services during times when she actually was working her shift as a full-time employee at the National Institutes of Health, according to the release.

Akindipe claimed to have worked more than 20 hours in a given day on more than 300 occasions. She also claimed to have provided services on days when she was not even in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.

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As part of her fraud scheme, she paid Medicaid beneficiaries to sign falsified time sheets.

In addition to 13 months in prison, Akindipe was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $269,808 and a forfeiture money judgment for $119,773.

Since October 2019, six former personal care aides, including Akindipe, have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for defrauding Medicaid. A seventh former personal care aide is expected to plead guilty. Cases against two other personal care aides remain outstanding, the Department of Justice reports.

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