seven Charged in health care fraud scheme
Medicare Billed $3.6 Million for Unnecessary Ambulance Rides
PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was unsealed today charging Penn Choice Ambulance Inc., operating from Philadelphia, PA, Huntington Valley, PA and Camp Hill, PA, its owner, Anna Mudrova, and operators Yury Gerasyuk, Mikhail Vasserman, Irina Vasserman, Aleksandr Vasserman, Valeriy Davydchik, and Khusen Akhmedov, with conspiracy to commit health care fraud. The alleged scheme involved more than $3.6 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare. The defendants were also charged with related crimes including making false statements in connection with health care matters, aggravated identity theft, paying kickbacks to patients, and money laundering, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Valeriy Davydchik, 58, and Khusen Akhmedov, 22, Mikhail and Irina Vasserman, both 50, and Aleksandr Vasserman, 29, all of Philadelphia, were arrested this morning. Mudrova, 40, Gerasyuk, 41, also of Philadelphia, will make a court appearance tomorrow. According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to defraud Medicare by recruiting patients who were able to walk and could travel safely by means other than ambulance and who therefore were not eligible for ambulance transportation under Medicare requirements. It is alleged that the defendants, and others acting on their behalf, falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them walked to the ambulance for transport. It is further alleged that the defendants themselves, or through others, paid illegal kickbacks to the patients as part of scheme. The defendants allegedly billed Medicare for these ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the allegedly fraudulent billing, the Medicare program sustained losses of more than $1.5 million for this medically unnecessary method of transportation.
If convicted, the defendants face substantial terms of imprisonment and fines. If convicted, Penn Choice Ambulance Inc. faces significant financial penalties, including substantial criminal fines, restitution and forfeiture obligations. All defendants could also be excluded from participating in federal health care programs.
Bank accounts and other assets were seized which are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney M. Beth Leahy.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525