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PA Ambulance Operator Sentenced to 92 Months in Prison for Medicare Scam

*originally published on EMS1.com

May 15, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Northeast Philadelphia ambulance operator, William Hlushmanuk, was sentenced to 92 months in prison after 5 years of fraudulent medicare billing and spending the nearly $5.4 million he earned on personal luxuries like motorcycles, drugs, a house, a Hummer, and vacations to Las Vegas and Florida. Hlushmanuk was indicted last year and pleaded guilty in February to two counts of healthcare fraud.

Hlushmanuk began training to become an emergency medical technitian and responder but was denied by the state Health Department when he tried to launch his own ambulance service. A record of convictions for attempted burgulary halted his plans only momentarily. Hlushmanuk paid $60,000 to an acquaintance to act as applicant for the new service.

Once approved, Hlushmanuk began transporting dialysis passengers who weren't medically eligible for transport. He went as far as creating the required forms to prove patients as medically unfit to transport themselves and even got some signed by unsuspecting doctors.

"It's too easy for this kind of situation to occur," Defense lawyer Robert Mozenter argued, hoping the case would serve as a wake-up call for Medicare administrators. "I think the government has to be more diligent . . .  and they should try to plug up the holes."

U.S. District Judge John R. Padova said "In terms of defrauding the government under Medicare, this case ranks way up there." He hopes the case and sentence will deter others from Medicare fraud.

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