Former Personal Care Aide Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

Hope Falowo, 53, of Bowie, Maryland, pled guilty today to a federal charge of health care fraud stemming from a scheme in which she caused the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program to be defrauded out of approximately $400,000.

           Falowo pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of health care fraud. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and potential financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Falowo faces a likely range of 18 to 24 months in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The plea agreement calls for Falowo to pay $316,887 in restitution and $316,887 in a forfeiture money judgment. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled sentencing for March 20, 2020.

           Falowo worked as a personal care aide for twelve home health agencies at various times between January 2013 and March 2017. The home health agencies employed Falowo to assist D.C. Medicaid beneficiaries in performing activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and eating. Falowo 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 2013 and March 2017, Falowo caused the D.C. Medicaid Program to issue payments totaling $399,000 for services that she did not render. As part of her fraud scheme, she paid kickbacks to beneficiaries and submitted false timesheets to different home health agencies claiming that she provided 24 hours or more of personal care aide services. She also submitted false timesheets claiming to have provided personal care aide services while she was out of the country. Stewart fraudulently earned more than $300,000 in wages as a result of the healthcare fraud scheme.