Ambulance Company, Owners, and Manager Plead Guilty in Health Care Fraud Scheme and Paying Kickbacks
PHILADELPHIA—Life Support Corporation, formerly located in Feasterville-Trevose, PA, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In separate hearings, the company owners, Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, PA, and Bogdan Kmet, 30, Warminster, PA and a company manager, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia, PA, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and to violating the federal anti-kickback statute. Sentencing hearings are scheduled for all parties on February 11, 2015.
Defendant Life Support and its owners and a manager operated an ambulance company that transported 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 or others acting on their behalf falsified reports to make it appear that the patients needed to be transported by ambulance when the defendants and their employees knew that the patients could be transported safely by other means and that many of them were able to walk. Some patients were transported in personal vehicles rather than ambulances and those trips were billed to Medicare as if ambulance services had been provided. The defendants were also involved in paying kickbacks to patients so that the patients would continue to be transported by Life Support ambulances rather than switching to another fraudulent ambulance company. The defendants billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the fraudulent scheme, the Medicare program paid more than $1.9 million for this inappropriate method of transportation.
Nazariy Kmet, Bogdan Kmet, and Rostislav Kmet each face substantial terms of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a fine in excess of $3.8 million, mandatory restitution estimated at over $1.9 million, forfeiture of assets, and a special assessment. Life Support Corporation will also have restitution and forfeiture obligations. All defendants could be excluded from participating in federal health care programs.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J.D. Hogan.