Ambulance Company Co-Owner Sentenced To Six Years For Fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Nazariy Kmet, 37, of Jamison, PA, a co-owner and the President of Life Support Corporation (Life Support), was sentenced today to 72 months in prison, for an extensive health care fraud scheme. The defendant pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and paying kickbacks. The company, Life Support, which is now defunct, had been located in the Feasterville-Trevose area and had been incorporated in 2010.
The defendant owned and operated Life Support, an ambulance company that transported 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. The defendant, or others acting on his behalf, falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendant and his employees knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them were able to walk. The defendant paid kickbacks to patients so that the patients would continue to be transported by Life Support, as opposed to any other ambulance company. The defendant billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the fraudulent billing, the Medicare program paid more than $1.9 million and Highmark, Inc. paid an additional amount in excess of $150,000 for this inappropriate method of transportation.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro ordered restitution of $1,912,526.32 to Medicare; restitution of $150,938.78 to Highmark, Inc.; a money judgment of $1,912,526.32; three years of supervised release to follow imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles. The defendant could also be excluded from participating in federal health care programs. He must surrender to begin serving his prison term on May 18, 2015.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary E. Crawley.