The owners and a supervisor at Alpha Ambulance Inc. (Alpha), a now-defunct ambulance transportation company formerly located in the Fairfax District, have pleaded guilty in connection with an ambulance fraud scheme.
Alex Kapri, also known as Alex Kapriyelov or Alexander Kapriyelov, 56, of West Hollywood; Aleksey Muratov, also known as Russ Muratov, 32, of Burbank; and Danielle Hartsell Medina, 36, of Corona, pleaded guilty on Oct. 28 to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when they are sentenced on Feb. 24.
Kapri and Muratov were owners and operators of Alpha, an ambulance transportation company that operated in the greater Los Angeles area and that specialized in the provision of non-emergency ambulance transportation services to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries, primarily dialysis patients. Medina was employed by Alpha and ultimately supervised the training and education of its employees.
According to court documents, Kapri, Muratov and Medina knowingly provided non-emergency ambulance transportation services to Medicare beneficiaries whose medical condition at that time did not require those services. With Kapri’s knowledge, Muratov and Medina instructed certain Alpha employees to conceal the Medicare beneficiaries’ medical conditions by altering requisite paperwork and creating fraudulent reasons that justified the transportation services. Based on the medically unnecessary transportation services, the defendants caused Alpha to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
Additionally, as the defendants were submitting false and fraudulent claims, Medicare notified Alpha that the company would be subject to a Medicare audit. In response to the notice, Muratov and Medina allegedly instructed Alpha employees — with Kapri’s knowledge — to alter requisite paperwork and create fraudulent reasons that justified in writing transportation services for the beneficiaries identified as the subject of Medicare’s audit.
From at least June 2008 through July 2012, Alpha submitted more than $49 million in claims for ambulance transportation services. As a result, Medicare paid Alpha more than $13 million.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force has charged more than 1,500 defendants who have collectively fraudulently billed the Medicare program for more than $5 billion, For information, visit www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
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