Ambulance Company and Owners Plead Guilty in Health Care Fraud Scheme
Ambulances, Accounts, and Assets Subject to Forfeiture
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 02, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—MedEx Ambulance Inc., located in Feasterville, Pennsylvania, and its owners, Aleksandr N. Zagrodony and Sergey Zagorodny, pleaded guilty to all counts of a 41-count indictment charging them with health care fraud, false statements in connection with health care matters, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Defendant MedEx Ambulance was 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. The Zagorodny 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, in fact, many of the patients were able to walk. The defendants billed for the ambulance services as if those services were medically necessary. As a result of the fraudulent billing, the Medicare program paid more than $2.5 million for this inappropriate method of transportation.
Aleksandr Zagorodny and Sergey Zagorodny face a maximum sentence of 370 years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a fine of $10.25 million, mandatory restitution currently estimated at in excess of $2.6 million, and a $4,100 special assessment. MedEx 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.
Agents previously seized four ambulances owned by MedEx Ambulance, purchased for more than $200,000, which are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings. Three bank accounts also were seized, and the funds contained in those accounts, as well as other assets, including the company headquarters, are subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 2, 2013, before the Honorable Berle M. Schiller.
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.