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Dauphin County ambulance company owner pleads guilty to $740K in Medicare fraud

By - Last modified: February 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

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The owner of a Lower Paxton Township ambulance company has pleaded guilty to making false statements in a Medicare case estimated at $740,000.

Advantage Medical Transport Inc. owner Serge Sivchuk, 27, entered the plea Friday before U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner. The charge is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter J. Smith, Sivchuk perpetrated a scheme to defraud Medicare by submitting hundreds of fraudulent claims for the nonemergency transport of Medicare beneficiaries to and from dialysis treatment centers between January 2009 and June 2011. The patients were ambulatory and the ambulance transports were not medically necessary, Smith said.

Smith said Sivchuk admitted in court that he directed a subordinate to rewrite and forge the signatures of two EMTs on a trip sheet pertaining to the ambulance transport of a dialysis treatment beneficiary on Aug. 19, 2010.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Conner will determine the overall loss to Medicare. When investigators executed a search warrant in June 2011, the U.S. Attorney's Office filed a civil action in federal court that froze more than $936,000 in bank accounts controlled by Advantage and Sivchuk.

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer

Heather Stauffer covers Lancaster County, nonprofits, education and health care. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at heathers@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @StaufferCPBJ.

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