FWA- Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Medicaid of More than $700,000 in Scheme Involving Personal Care Services

MM Curator summary

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[MM Curator Summary]: Joseph Tamjong of D.C. billed for 3,400 hours of personal care services while he was travelling internationally, including 156 times he claimed to work 24 hours in a 1-day period- Amount you spent on this (if you pay taxes)- $733,405.


Clipped from: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-defrauding-medicaid-more-700000-scheme-involving-personal-care

Defendant is 12th Individual to Plead Guilty Since August 2018

            WASHINGTON – Joseph Tamjong, 51, of Lanham, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to defrauding the D.C. Medicaid program out of $733,405. 

            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s 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.

            Tamjong pleaded guilty in the U.S. District  Court for the District of Columbia to health care fraud, which carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Tamjong faces a likely recommended sentence of between 27 and 33 months in prison. He has agreed to pay $733,405 in restitution and $396,155 in a forfeiture money judgment. The Honorable Christopher R. Cooper, who accepted Tamjong’s guilty plea, scheduled sentencing for March 7, 2023.

            In court documents, Tamjong admitted that between December 2014 and February 2022, he was employed as a Personal Care Aide and/or a Participant-Directed Worker to provide personal care aide services to residents of the District of Columbia who needed assistance performing activities of daily living, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, and eating. Tamjong admitted that he submitted false timesheets that claimed he provided these personal care services when in fact he did not.

            As part of his scheme, he even caused Medicaid to be billed for approximately 3,400 hours of services that he purportedly provided when he actually was traveling internationally. On 156 separate occasions, he also caused Medicaid to be billed for 24 hours of services that he allegedly provided in one day.

            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.

            Tamjong is the twelfth former personal care aide since August 2018 to plead guilty to defrauding Medicaid in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Six of those aides were sentenced to 13 months in prison; a seventh and eighth were sentenced respectively to 15 months and 10 months.

            The government urges the public to provide tips and assistance to 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) HHSTIPS [(800) 447-8477] or the D.C. Office of the Inspector General at (800) 724-TIPS [(800) 274-8477].

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kondi Kleinman with assistance from Paralegal Specialist Michon Tart.