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NY ambulance company owners take plea deal in fraud case

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force (MFSF) recently concluded an investigation of a New York based ambulatory company. The MFSF is part of a joint initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) tasked with deterring fraud and enforcing applicable laws.

The investigation allegedly resulted in evidence of health care fraud.

MFSF accuses NY company of health care fraud, tax fraud

According to a press release by the DOJ, the owners of the ambulatory company paid illegal kickbacks in exchange for the referral of Medicaid beneficiaries. The government has accused the company of paying almost $9 million in bribes. The ambulance company owners would then allegedly file for payment for their services through Medicaid after transferring the patients to clinics in both Brooklyn and Queens. The indictment states the drivers were authorized to bill the government program for transportation services because they were not enrolled in the Medicaid program.

In addition to the allegations of illegal kickbacks, the government has also accused the ambulance owners of filing false tax returns. The indictment states the two failed to properly report their income with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on their 2008 through 2013 tax returns. This included allegedly claiming kickbacks as “legitimate business expenses” and claiming false business deductions.

Faced with evidence, NY business owners agree to guilty plea

Both the accused agreed to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks and a second count of conspiracy to defraud the lawful functions of the IRS. Sentencing will occur at a later date.