Ambulance Owner Sent to Prison for Health Care Fraud
HOUSTON – A 46-year-old Houston man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Keeble Lovall pleaded guilty July 31, 2018, after less than two days of trial and hearing from 10 witnesses.
Today, U.S. District Judge Miller handed Lovall a 63-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the sentence was appropriate to deter future health care fraud.
Lovall was the owner of Your Health EMS from 2009 through 2012. Beginning in September 2011 until May 2012, Lovall knowingly billed Medicare and Medicaid falsely for non-eligible transports. Some of the fraudulent billing involved Lovall submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for individual ambulance transports, when in fact, multiple patients were being transported via one ambulance.
Other fraudulent billings involved Your Health submitting claims for transporting Medicare patients via an ambulance to Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs) at various facilities, which is an unauthorized transport per Medicare. Additionally, Lovall billed Medicare through Your Health for ambulance transportation services when there was no medical necessity for the transport.
As a result of Lovall’s actions, Your Health falsely billed Medicare for approximately $2,835,930 in ambulance transports, which were never provided or which were not medically necessary. Lovall caused Medicare to directly deposit approximately $1,063,913.58 into Your Health’s bank account for ambulance transports, which were never provided or which were not medically necessary.
Lovall was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Texas Attorney General's Office, IRS - Criminal Investigation, FBI, Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General conducted the joint investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rodolfo Ramirez and Zahra Jivani Fenelon prosecuted the case.