District Woman Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud, Sold Counterfeit Documents to Would-Be Home Health Care Aides
WASHINGTON—Adoshia L. Flythe, 36, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to a federal charge of health care fraud following an undercover investigation into the sale of counterfeit health certificates to people seeking jobs in the home health care industry.
The plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Nicholas DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), for the region that includes Washington, D.C.; and Charles J. Willoughby, Inspector General for the District of Columbia.
Flythe pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Rudolph Contreras scheduled sentencing for September 4, 2014. The charge carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison as well as financial penalties. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Flythe faces up to six months of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.
Flythe, a personal care aide, was one of 24 people—including operators of home care agencies and nurse staffing agencies, office workers, and personal care aides—arrested in late February 2014, following investigations into fraudulent billing practices in the home health care industry. The investigations uncovered numerous, separate schemes involving fraud, kickbacks, and false billings in the growing field of home care services for District of Columbia Medicaid patients. She is the first defendant to plead guilty in the various schemes.
The home health care industry includes services intended to assist people in performing the activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, taking medication, and other needs. Such services are provided by personal care aides, who often work for home care agencies and nurse staffing agencies. In order to be reimbursed by D.C. Medicaid, the personal care aides performing the services had to have documentation showing that they meet numerous qualifications as set forth by D.C. regulations.
In her guilty plea, Flythe admitted selling packages of counterfeit documentation to two individuals, charging them $350 apiece. The fraudulent documents Flythe sold included a counterfeit “Home Health Care Aide” certificate from the University of the District of Columbia and a counterfeit “Health Certificate for Staff” that contained the forged name and signature of at least one doctor. The two individuals who purchased the documents from Flythe purportedly wanted to apply for employment with a home care agency and to cause Medicaid to be billed for personal care services, when actually they were working as part of the undercover investigation.
In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Assistant Director in Charge Parlave, Special Agent in Charge DiGiulio, and Inspector General Willoughby commended the work of those who investigated the case. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Donna Galindo, Krishawn Graham, Corinne Kleinman, and Nicole Wattelet.
Finally, they expressed appreciation for the work of the prosecutors handling the health care cases, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Friedman, who appeared in court today, Assistant U.S. Attorneys David Johnson, Ted Radway, Lionel André, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dangkhoa Nguyen.