Ambulance Company Owners Sentenced to Prison in Health Care Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 04, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—Aleksandr N. Zagorodony, 39, of Southampton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to 78 months in prison for a health care fraud scheme involving MedEx Ambulance Inc., located in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. Zagorodny was the president and a founder of MedEx Ambulance. His 36 year-old brother, Sergey Zagorodny, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the former vice president and co-owner of the company, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for his involvement in the health care fraud scheme. MedEx Ambulance was ordered to be dissolved after it has been excluded from participation in Medicare and its assets are transferred to the government to satisfy restitution and forfeiture obligations. Each defendant had pleaded guilty to all counts in a 41-count indictment including health care fraud, false statements in connection with health care matters, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
Defendant MedEx Ambulance and its owners transported patients who were able to walk and could travel safely by means other than ambulance and who were not eligible for ambulance transportation under Medicare requirements. Falsified reports made it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants and their employees knew otherwise. The defendants billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary. The Medicare program was bilked out of more than $3.4 million through this fraud.
U.S. District Court Judge Berle M. Schiller also ordered restitution to Medicare in the amount of $3,418,358.81, a special assessment of $4,100 for each individual defendant and $16,400 for the corporation, and a three-year term of supervised release for the individuals and five years of probation for the corporation. The court ordered the forfeiture of four ambulances that had been purchased for over $200,000, as well as forfeiture of bank accounts worth over $40,000, and entered a money judgment against the defendants for $3,418,358.81. In connection with the sentencing, the company agreed to sell its base of operations and to provide the proceeds of that sale to the government in partial satisfaction of the defendants’ restitution obligations. The defendants and their wives also pledged to sell their family homes, as well as additional property, and to provide the proceeds of the sale of those assets to partially satisfy the defendants’ restitution obligations.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J.D. Hogan.