Chesterton Tribune



Crown Point ambulance operator charged with healthcare fraud in federal court

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The Lake County owner of an ambulance service has been charged in federal court with healthcare fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Basil N. Ubanwa, 60, of Crown Point was indicted by federal grand jury on 11 counts of healthcare fraud and one of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“The indictment alleges that between 2011 and 2018, Ubanwa executed a scheme to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance services,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “From 2007 to 2018, Ubanwa was the owner and manager of Northwest Ambulance Services, located in Crown Point, Ind. Northwest’s primary source of revenue was transporting patients to and from kidney dialysis appointments. According to the indictment, Ubanwa and others directed Northwest employees to transport patients by ambulance who did not qualify for ambulance transportation and who were not eligible to receive such services. Northwest employees were instructed by Ubanwa and others to bill Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not medically necessary and/or were not provided.”

The government is seeking criminal forfeiture of the proceeds of the alleged crimes including, but not limited to, the over $1.9 million from bank accounts associated with Northwest Ambulance and Ubanwa that are listed in the forfeiture count of the indictment.

“Health care fraud is a serious crime that drives up the cost of healthcare for all honest Americans,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said. “Medicare and Medicaid are not bottomless funds from which theft goes unnoticed or unpunished. Taxpayers are the victims of these crimes. We, with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and aggressively prosecute perpetrators of these fraudulent schemes.”



Posted 10/18/2018




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