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Ambulance company settles fraud charges for $2.7M

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch at a news conference

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch at a news conference in Brooklyn prepares to announce the arrest of at least 127 people in an organized crime sting involving La Cosa Nostra familes. (Jan. 20, 2011) Credit: Craig Ruttle

One of the nation’s largest ambulance services has agreed to pay $2.7 million to the U.S. government to settle charges that it defrauded the Medicaid program by making false insurance claims through its Holbrook and Brooklyn offices.

The U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn said it opened an investigation “after several former employees filed a complaint against the company on behalf of the United States."

American Medical Response Inc. made the settlement on behalf of its subsidiaries Park Ambulance Service Inc., Five Counties Ambulance Service Inc. and Associated Ambulance Service Inc.

The fraudulent claims were made from 2001 to 2005, the government said. 

AMR employees acted under the federal False Claims Act, allowing a private individual who has uncovered fraud against the federal government to file a suit, in federal court, on behalf of the United States.

If the United States is successful in resolving those claims, the individuals who filed the complaint may receive a share of the recovery.

In resolving this case, federal prosecutors alleged in the civil settlement agreement that between 2001 and 2005, AMR, “through information provided to its administrative departments in its Brooklyn and Long Island offices, knowingly submitted falsely inflated claims for transportation services to federal health insurance programs.”

AMR, which did not admit to engaging in such misconduct, agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the federal government.

“Today’s settlement demonstrates this Office’s continued commitment to recover taxpayer dollars when it learns that false claims are submitted to federal health care programs,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch  said in a prepared statement.

Photo:  U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch.

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