Ambulance Company Owner Sentenced to Eight Years for Medicare Fraud
PHILADELPHIA—Anna Mudrova, 41, of Huntingdon Valley, PA., was sentenced today to eight years in prison for her role in a health care fraud scheme involving Penn Choice Ambulance Inc., operating from Huntingdon Valley, PA and Camp Hill, PA. Mudrova pleaded guilty on February 12, 2014, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Mudrova, who was the owner of Penn Choice, was indicted with Mikhail Vasserman, Yury Gerasyuk, Irina Vasserman, Aleksandr Vasserman, Khusen Akhmedov, and Valeriy Davydchik, all of whom have pleaded guilty.
The scheme involved more than $3.6 million in fraudulent claims submitted to Medicare. The defendants conspired to defraud Medicare by recruiting 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. The defendants, and others acting on their behalf, falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them walked to the ambulance for transport. The defendants, themselves, or through others, paid illegal kickbacks to the patients as part of scheme. The defendants billed Medicare for these ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the fraudulent billing, the Medicare program sustained losses of more than $1.5 million for this medically unnecessary method of transportation.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sánchez ordered three years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $1,860,543.42 In addition to restitution to Medicare of $1,548,583.93, the Court ordered restitution to other insurance providers including approximately $154,866.81 payable to Highmark Inc.; approximately $128,498.86; payable to Humana, and others. , joint and several with the co-defendants, a special assessment of $100 and forfeiture of any assets traceable to the offense.
In prior proceedings, defendant Mikhail Vasserman, the manager for Huntingdon Valley, was sentenced to five years in prison; defendant Khusen Akhmedov, an EMT, was sentenced to 27 months in prison; ambulance drivers, Valeriy Davydchik and Yury Gerasyuk, were each sentenced to 24 months in prison; and the corporation was ordered to pay restitution and to cease all operations. The two remaining defendants are awaiting sentencing.
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 M. Beth Leahy.