PHILADELPHIA – Fritzroy Brown, 39, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for a healthcare fraud scheme centering on Brotherly Love Ambulance, Inc. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald J. Pappert ordered three years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $2,015,712.52 to Medicare, restitution of $14,150 to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and a $300 special assessment.
Brown was a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with Brotherly Love. While employed by Brotherly Love, Brown 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. Brown and other conspirators falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when he knew that the patients could be safely transported by other means and, in fact, many of them could walk. In addition, Brown and other conspirators paid kickbacks to patients to ensure that they would use Brotherly Love Ambulance for services which were not medically necessary. The company also transmitted bills for ambulance services for patients who were not transported by ambulance, but whom Brown and others drove in personal vehicles. Brown and others completed documentation of these transports that made it appear that the individuals had been transported in an ambulance when they had not, and that misrepresented the medical care provided to and safety precautions taken for these patients.
As a result of the fraudulent scheme at Brotherly Love, the Medicare program paid more than $2 million for fraudulent claims from Brotherly Love. In addition, Brown submitted false requests to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for unemployment compensation when he was, in fact, working full time for Brotherly Love. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid over $14,000 in unemployment compensation to Brown induced by this fraud.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mary E. Crawley and Paul W. Kaufman.