Life Support Ambulance and Owners Charged in Health Care Fraud Scheme
PHILADELPHIA—Life Support Corporation, its owners, Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, PA, and Bogdan Kmet, 30, of Warminster, PA, and a company manager, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia, were charged in a 12-count indictment, unsealed today, alleging their involvement in health care fraud, wire fraud, paying kickbacks, and aiding and abetting, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. The company and one owner also were charged with making false statements in connection with health care matters and money laundering. The company is located in the Feasterville-Trevose area and was incorporated in 2010.
The indictment alleges that 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. It is alleged that 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. It is also alleged that the defendants were involved in paying kickbacks to patients so that the patients chose to be transported by Life Support ambulances. The defendants allegedly billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary and, as a result of the allegedly fraudulent billing, the Medicare program paid more than $1.9 million for this inappropriate method of transportation.
If convicted, 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. If convicted, Life Support Corporation faces significant financial penalties, including substantial criminal fines, restitution and forfeiture obligations. All defendants could be excluded from participating in federal health care programs if convicted.
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.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.