Brotherly Love Ambulance Company Employee Pleads Guilty in Health Care Fraud Scheme
PHILADELPHIA—Fritzroy Brown, 38, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, false statements in a health care matter, and theft of government property. He faces a maximum possible statutory sentence of 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $750,000 fine, and a $300 special assessment. U.S. District Court Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 10, 2015.
In July 2010, Feda Kuran, charged elsewhere, began operating Brotherly Love Ambulance, Inc. with a co-schemer. From approximately October 2010 through approximately October 2011, Fritzroy Brown, a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), transported patients for Brotherly Love even though those patients could walk and could have been transported safely by means other than ambulance and were, therefore, not eligible for ambulance service under Medicare and Medicaid requirements. Brown also transported patients in his personal vehicles and in a minivan owned by Brotherly Love, both of which lacked the lifesaving equipment found in an ambulance. Even when he transported patients in his personal vehicle, Brown completed ambulance “run sheets” for the trips and certified those sheets with his signature and EMT identification number. In order to make the transport appear as though it had been conducted by ambulance, those run sheets misstated the medical condition of the patient and the care provided to the patient during the transport. In addition, for a period of nearly six months during which he was working full time at Brotherly Love, Fritzroy Brown applied for and received unemployment benefits, repeatedly lying to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor by claiming that he was not working.
As a result of the overall scheme at Brotherly Love, the Medicare program was billed for more than $4.9 million and paid more than $2 million in inappropriate bills. As a result of Fritzroy Brown’s theft from the unemployment insurance program, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid over $14,000 in improper benefits to him. Feda Kuran was sentenced in November 2014 to 64 months in prison.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mary E. Crawley and Paul W. Kaufman.