The former owner, billing manager, and supervisor of a Southern California ambulance company were sentenced to prison for their roles in a fraud scheme that resulted in more than $1.5 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare. The defendants had conspired to bill Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals that did not need such services, many of whom were dialysis patients.
A U.S. District of the Central District of California sentenced Yaroslav Proshak, aka Steven Proshak, 47, of Valley Village, Calif. to serve 108 months in prison. The judge also sentenced Emilia Zverev, 58, of Van Nuys, Calif.; and Sharetta Michelle Wallace, 37, of Inglewood, Calif., to serve 36 months and 24 months in prison, respectively. In addition to their prison terms, Judge Otero ordered Zverev, Wallace, and Proshak to jointly pay $804,755 in restitution.
In August, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Proshak, Zverev, and Wallace of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud, following a 10-day trial.
Zverev and Wallace worked for ProMed Medical Transportation, an ambulance transportation company owned and operated by Proshak in the greater Los Angeles area that provided non-emergency services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients. Zverev was the billing manager and Wallace supervised the ProMed EMTs.
The evidence at trial showed that between May 2008 and October 2010, the defendants conspired to bill Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals that did not need such services, according to a statement form the U.S. Justice Department. The defendants also instructed ProMed EMTs to conceal the patients’ true medical conditions by altering paperwork and creating fraudulent documents to justify the services. During the course of the conspiracy, ProMed submitted at least $1.5 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary transportation services; Medicare paid at least $804,755 on those claims.