Ambulance Company Owner And Operator Heads To Federal Prison
HOUSTON - Julian Kimble, 48, has been handed a federal prison sentence following his convictions for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Kimble pleaded guilty to these federal crimes on Nov. 29, 2011.
At the hearing today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner sentenced Kimble to federal prison for 72 months for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 72 months for conspiracy to commit money laundering and 60 Months for tax evasion. The sentences on each count are to be served concurrently followed by three years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay $3,676,587 in restitution to the Medicare Program.
Kimble had admitted that from March 2008 through December 2010, he owned and operated four ambulance companies - Monarch Ambulance, Tamimi International Inc. dba Universal Care, Houston EMS dba XTRA Care Inc., and HKO Group Inc. dba Delta Care EMS. In his operation of these companies, Kimble routinely billed Medicare for basic life support (BLS) ambulance transports that were not provided, not needed or not ordered by the treating physicians.
None of the four ambulance companies operated by Kimble owned licensed ambulance vehicles necessary to provide the BLS transports for which he billed Medicare. Kimble used third-parties and straw owners to register the ambulance companies with the Texas Department of Health. He and others often transported multiple beneficiaries at the same time in vans or sedans, fraudulently billing Medicare for allegedly providing individual transports in ambulances under the attention of qualified emergency medical personnel. In addition, Kimble received kickbacks from the owners of different community mental health centers (CMHCs) in the Houston area in exchange for supplying patients to their facilities. Under Kimble’s direction, Medicare beneficiaries received payments in exchange for agreeing to be transported to different CMHC facilities around the Houston area. From 2008 through December 2010, Kimble’s companies fraudulently billed Medicare for approximately $8.7 million and received payment for approximately $3.6 million.
To conceal the proceeds of the health care fraud, Kimble withdrew funds from the business accounts of the different ambulance companies, keeping part of those funds and using the remainder to pay kickbacks to patients. From the funds fraudulently obtained from Medicare, Kimble issued checks for thousands of dollars to other conspirators, who, after cashing the checks, would return part of the cash to Kimble, use another part of the money to recruit patients and keep the remainder of the money for themselves. From August to December 2010, conspirators received checks from Kimble totaling more than $1 million. No part of this money was reported as taxable income.
Kimble was also charged and convicted of tax evasion as a result of a prior investigation into his ownership of Pearl Ambulance Service from 1998-2007. Kimble admitted he overstated the business expenses for Pearl Ambulance in his tax returns for 2003-2007. Additionally, he claimed business expenses from Pearl Records, his music business, in his tax returns for Pearl Ambulance which resulted in a zero dollar tax liability for Pearl Ambulance. Kimble failed to file corporate tax returns for Pearl during this time until his assets were about to be seized. When he did file, the delinquent returns were discovered to be materially false.
Kimble will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General. Special Assistant United States Attorney Justin S. Blan prosecuted the case.