Ambulance Company Owner and Managers Indicted in Health Care Fraud Scheme
Topics: Royal Ambulance Service, First Choice EMS
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas
June 5, 2009
DALLAS—The owner and upper management of two local ambulance companies have been charged in a 15-count federal indictment with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud, and money laundering, announced Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The indictment stems from “Operation Easy Rider,” led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, involving search warrants of multiple ambulance companies across Texas related to the investigation of fraudulent billing practices.
Muhammed Nasiru Usman, a/k/a Nasir Usman, 49, of Arlington, Texas; David McNac, 34, of Dallas, Texas; and Shaun Outen, 31, of Aubrey, Texas, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and multiple counts of health care fraud for falsely billing Medicare, Texas Medicaid, and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program for non-emergency ambulance transportation of patients to and from dialysis appointments from early 2004 to mid-2007. Usman is also charged with one count of money laundering for purchasing a Lexus SUV with the fraudulently obtained payments from these health care programs.
Usman, the owner of Royal Ambulance Services, Inc., formerly in Dallas and Desoto, Texas, and First Choice EMS, Inc., formerly in Carrollton, Texas, employed McNac as his director over both companies and Outen as a supervisor. The three men were responsible for fraudulent billing exceeding $1.5 million and the payment of more than $550,000 by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.
The fraudulent claims misrepresented medical conditions of patients in order to qualify for reimbursement from Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, and falsely stated that legitimate ambulance services were provided. In reality, many of the companies’ records revealed that patients rode to their appointments in a captain’s chair in the back of the ambulance rather than lying on a stretcher.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. Each of the defendants faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of conspiracy, and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, per count, if convicted of health care fraud. Usman also faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of money laundering. In addition, restitution could be ordered.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jacks praised the excellent investigative work of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General, IRS - Criminal Investigation, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Office - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McCarthy are prosecuting the case.
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