The United States Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.
The United States Federal Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

The general manager of a now-defunct Southland ambulance company was sentenced Monday to more than seven years in federal prison for his role in a $5.5 million scheme to defraud the Medicare program.

Wesley Harlan Kingsbury, 34, of Bloomington pleaded guilty last year in Los Angeles to one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to obstruct a Medicare audit and making materially false statements to federal law enforcement officers.

In addition to the 87-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer ordered Kingsbury to pay $1.3 million in restitution.

Kingsbury was general manager of Los Angeles-based Alpha Ambulance Inc., which specialized in the provision of non-emergency ambulance transportation services to Medicare beneficiaries, primarily to and from dialysis treatments.

He admitted that between April 2010 and July 2012, he conspired with the owners of Alpha — Alex Kapri and Aleksey Muratov — and training supervisor Danielle Medina to bill Medicare for transporting people that did not need to be taken by ambulance.

In addition, as general manager, Kingsbury instructed emergency medical technicians employed by Alpha to conceal the true medical condition of patients they were transporting by altering paperwork and creating false justifications for the services, according to prosecutors.

In early 2012, Medicare notified Alpha that it would be subject to a Medicare audit. In response, Kingsbury admitted that he and his co-conspirators altered patient documentation to falsely justify the ambulance transportation services, according to court papers.

Specifically, Kingsbury admitted that he and others used light tracing tables to trace over original documents and create falsified patient documentation for submission to Medicare. They then shredded the original patient documents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kingsbury and his co-conspirators submitted about $5.5 million in phony claims to Medicare, and Medicare paid roughly $1.3 million on those claims, prosecutors said.

Kapri, Muratov and Medina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in 2013. They were sentenced to 75 months, 108 months, and 30 months in prison, respectively.

City News Service

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