February 26, 2015

Medicare Beneficiary Pleads Guilty in Kickback Scheme Involving Ambulance Transport Services

PHILADELPHIA—William Conner, 61, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty yesterday to receiving kickbacks and making false statements to law enforcement officials in connection with unnecessary ambulance transportation services. Conner faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $1 million fine, a $400 special assessment, and an order of restitution. U.S. District Court Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 28, 2015.

In July 2010, Feda Kuran, charged elsewhere, began operating Brotherly Love Ambulance, Inc. with a co-schemer. Even though he could have been transported safely by other means and was, therefore, not eligible for ambulance service under Medicare and Medicaid requirements, Conner began using Brotherly Love for transportation to dialysis treatments. Conner accepted monthly payments from Kuran and others to induce him to continue to ride with Brotherly Love and, as a result of his actions and those of Brotherly Love, the Medicare program paid more than $55,000 in inappropriate bills. As a result of the overall scheme at Brotherly Love, the Medicare program paid more than $2 million in inappropriate bills. When interviewed by federal law enforcement officers about receiving payments, Conner lied, denying that he had received cash from Brotherly Love. 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 Matthew J.D. Hogan and Paul W. Kaufman.