Probe by Texas Attorney General and Federal Officials Leads To Health Care Fraud Conviction for North Texas Ambulance Company Operator
The following news release was issued by the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 13, 2010:
Arlington Ambulance Company Owner Sentenced to 15 Years In Federal Prison And Ordered To Pay $1.3 Million In Restitution For Running Health Care Fraud Scheme
Defendant Fraudulently Billed Government More Than $3.5 Million for Transferring Patients to Scheduled Dialysis Appointments
DALLAS The owner/operator of Royal Ambulance Service, Inc. and First Choice EMS, Inc., Muhammed Nasiru Usman, 50, of Arlington, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 180 months in prison, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. In addition, Usman was ordered to pay $1,317,179 in restitution. Usman was convicted in May 2010 on all 14 counts of a superseding indictment charging various offenses, including health care fraud and money laundering, related to a health care fraud scheme he ran. Two co-defendants, Shaun Outen, 32, of Aubrey, Texas, and David McNac, 35, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to their role in the conspiracy prior to trial and are awaiting sentencing.
Specifically, the jury found Usman guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 12 counts of health care fraud and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
When in business, Royal had offices in Dallas and DeSoto, Texas. First Choice EMS, Inc. was previously located in Carrollton, Texas. McNac worked as the director and/or manager of Royal and First Choice; Outen served as the director of operations and an upper-level supervisor.
Royal and First Choice primarily transferred patients on a non-emergency basis to and from dialysis treatments three times per week. The government presented evidence that Usman, Outen and McNac conspired to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by submitting fraudulent claims related to the transportation of dialysis patients. As part of the conspiracy, the defendants told Royal and First Choice employees to omit facts when documenting their transports of Royal and First Choice patients, such as whether the patients walked to the ambulance, in order to qualify the transports for reimbursement. Additionally, many of the companies’ records revealed that patients simply rode to their appointments in a captain’s chair in the back of the ambulance rather than lying on a stretcher.
The government presented further evidence that Usman, Outen and McNac were responsible for submitting more than $3.5 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid through Royal Ambulance and First Choice EMS, resulting in payments of more than $1.3 million.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General, the FBI, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Office - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and IRS - Criminal Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Miller and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McCarthy prosecuted the case.