Ambulance Company and Owners Charged in $2.5 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
Ambulances Seized and Subject to Forfeiture
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 01, 2012|
PHILADELPHIA—An indictment was unsealed today charging MedEx Ambulance Inc., located in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, and its owners, Aleksandr N. Zagorodony and Sergey Zagorodny, with a total of 41 counts involving health care fraud, false statements in connection with health care matters, wire fraud, and conspiracy, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.
The indictment alleges that defendant MedEx, incorporated in 2004, and its owners 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 Zagorodony brothers, 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. 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 $2.5 million for this inappropriate method of transportation.
Sergey Zagorodny, 34, of Philadelphia, was arrested this morning. Agents also seized four ambulances owned by MedEx Ambulance, purchased for over $200,000, that are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings. Three bank accounts also were seized, and the funds contained in those accounts are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings. Aleksandr Zagorodny is expected to surrender to law enforcement.
Matthew J. Bold, the former Director of Clinical Affairs for MedEx, 36, of Trevose, Pennsylvania, was separately charged by information with one count of health care fraud and aiding and abetting the commission of health care fraud. It is alleged that Bold was involved in transporting and directing other MedEx employees to transport patients by ambulance when those patients could walk or be transported safely by means other than ambulance. It also is alleged that Bold was involved in the falsification of documentation so that certain reports did not reflect the true condition of patients being transported by MedEx ambulances.
If convicted, Aleksandr Zagorodny and Sergey Zagorodny face a substantial term of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $10.25 million, mandatory restitution, and a $4,100 special assessment. If convicted, MedEx faces significant financial penalties, including substantial criminal fines, restitution, and forfeiture obligations. If convicted, Bold faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, restitution and a $100 special assessment. All defendants could be excluded from participating in federal health care programs if convicted.
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 Matthew J.D. Hogan.
An indictment is an accusation, as is an information. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.