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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Youngstown Man Indicted On Seven Counts Of Health Care Fraud

A federal indictment was filed charging Rolando Sepulveda with seven counts of health care fraud in connection with the operation of his ambulette company, Med Transportation, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Sepulveda, age 51, operated his business out of the Youngstown area and is currently believed to be residing in Puerto Rico. He defrauded the state of approximately $406,000 from August 2008 to August 2011, according to the indictment.

"This money should have gone to help those who were sick and truly needed transportation,” Dettelbach said.

“That is a huge amount of money that could have been spent on patients who legitimately needed help,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “Instead, this man took that money for himself."

Ambulette services contract with the Ohio Medicaid program to transport patients in vehicles known as ambulettes.  An ambulette is a specially equipped van designed for wheelchair passengers.  Medicaid pays ambulette operators for driving Medicaid patients to and from Medicaid-covered appointments, so long as: (1) the patient rides in a wheelchair; (2) a medical doctor certifies the need for the wheelchair and ambulette; and (3) the ambulette itself otherwise meets safety specifications.

The defendant is charged with scheming to defraud Medicaid of approximately $406,000.00 by charging Medicaid for rides of patients who did not use or need wheelchairs and for billing Medicaid for ambulette attendants, when no such attendants were used by Med Transportation.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to each case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations.

The indictment is the result of an investigation by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea S.  Rice and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Constance Nearhood, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 12, 2015