Owner of Brotherly Love Ambulance Pleads Guilty to $2 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 17, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—Feda Kuran, 37, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to a health care fraud scheme that involved billing Medicare for ambulance services that were not medically necessary, that were not actually provided, or that were induced by illegal kickbacks. During this health care fraud scheme, the defendant also gave and received illegal kickbacks. As a result, the Medicare program paid more than $2,015,712 for the fraudulent bills. Kuran pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute. U.S. District Court Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 24, 2013. Kuran faces a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, a $200 special assessment, and restitution to Medicare. In addition, the defendant has agreed to forfeiture and a money judgment against her for more than $2 million.
As documents filed in connection with the plea revealed, in July 2010, the defendant began operating Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. with a co-schemer. Kuran, or others acting at her direction, transported patients by ambulance when those patients could have been transported safely by other means and were, therefore, not eligible for ambulance service under Medicare and Medicaid requirements. Not only were those patients able to be safely transported by means other than ambulance, but also many of the patients were observed walking to and from ambulances. The defendant and others billed Medicare for ambulance services for patients who were transported by Brotherly Love employees in personal vehicles or who drove themselves or took public transportation to their destinations. In addition, the defendant and other employees paid kickbacks to some patients to induce them to allow Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. to transport them. Brotherly Love paid other patients so that the ambulance company could use those patients’ information to bill for transportation that Brotherly Love Ambulance never actually provided. The defendant also agreed that she received kickbacks from other ambulance companies to refer patients to the other ambulance companies.
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.