A Silver Spring woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison last week after federal authorities say she defrauded Washington, D.C.’s Medicaid program out of more than $100,000.

Susan Engonwei Tingwei, 44, worked at two home health agencies in the district between 2016 and 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Tingwei’s job was to help Medicaid beneficiaries with daily tasks such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing and eating.

According to authorities, Tingwei earned a law degree from the University of Maryland in May 2017. She was admitted to the New York state bar in 2018 and the Maryland bar in 2020.

According to Tingwei’s guilty plea, she was supposed to fill out timesheets and then submit them to home health agencies, which would then bill Medicaid for her services. Tingwei told authorities that she submitted false timesheets claiming to provide services that she did not provide, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to authorities, Tingwei submitted time sheets 118 times between August 2016 and May 2017 claiming that she worked as a personal care aide. However, the times listed on the timesheets were during the hours when Tingwei was scheduled to attend law school classes in Baltimore or would have been traveling to or from them.

Tingwei admitted to defrauding the D.C. Medicaid program out of $131,656, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. She pleaded guilty in November 2021 to health care fraud. On July 14, she was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. She must also pay restitution equal to the amount of money she defrauded the Medicaid program.

Advertisement

Tingwei’s attorney, Jonathan Zucker, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com