Ambulance officials charged in $1.9M Medicare fraud

Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) |

June 26--The United States Attorney in Philadelphia charged the owners and manager of Life Support Corp., a Bucks County ambulance company, in a $1.9 million Medicare fraud.

Those charged in the 12-count indictment were owners Nazariy Kmet, 35, of Jamison, and Bogdan Kmet, 30, of Warminster, plus a company manager, Rostislav Kmet, 26, of Philadelphia.

Prosecutors alleged that Life Support, which operated five ambulances of its own and one from another company, knowingly provided ambulance rides to Medicare beneficiaries that were not medically necessary and paid kickback to the patients to keep their business.

The defendants were arrested Thursday morning and due to make their initial court appearances this afternoon, according the U.S. Attorney's office, which has prosecuted a series of ambulance fraud cases in recent years.

In a separate ambulance-fraud case involving Penn Choice Ambulance Inc., which operated out of Huntindon Valley and Camp Hill, Pa., Mikhail Vasserman, 51, of Philadelphia, on Thursday received a five-year prison term. U.S. District Court Judge Juan R. Sánchez ordered Vasserman to pay restitution of $1.7 million.

On Wednesday, U.S. prosecutors won their longest sentence yet in recent cases of ambulance fraud in the region.

Vadim Fleshler, 33, was sentenced to 13 1/2 years of prison for defrauding Medicare of $2.4 million.

hbrubaker@phillynews.com

215-854-4651

@InqBrubaker

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