Howard University Employee Pleads Guilty to Healthcare Fraud Government Continues Crackdown on People Who Defraud Medicaid
WASHINGTON – Folashade Adufe Horne, 51, of Laurel, Maryland, pled guilty on February 17, 2021 in federal court to defrauding the D.C. Medicaid program out of more than $370,000.
The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin; James A. Dawson, 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.
Horne pled guilty to health care fraud in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Horne faces a likely recommended sentence of between 18 and 24 months in prison. The Honorable Reggie B. Walton took the plea and scheduled sentencing for May 12, 2021.
At various times between January 2014 and June 2020, Horne was employed by four different home health agencies to serve as a personal care aide for D.C. Medicaid beneficiaries. Horne also was employed full-time by Howard University during this same period. The home health agencies employed Horne to assist Medicaid beneficiaries in performing activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and eating. Horne 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.
Horne acknowledged that between January 2014 and June 2020, she caused the D.C. Medicaid Program to issue payments totaling $373,564 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 as a full-time employee at Howard University Hospital. She claimed to work more than twenty hours in a given day on more than 200 occasions, including 28 days when she asserted that she provided 32 hours of PCA services. 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.
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, six former personal care aides have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for defrauding Medicaid. Cases against two other personal care aides remain outstanding.
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.