Bucks ambulance owner indicted in $5.4M fraud

Posted: June 30, 2012

A Bucks County man has been indicted in a scheme that bilked Medicare of more than $5.4 million.

William V. Hlushmanuk, 35, of Churchville was charged in a 23-count health care fraud indictment that was unsealed today by the U.S. Attorney General's office.

Hlushmanuk, also known as "Bill Le," allegedly started the Starcare Ambulance Company in 2006 to transport kidney dialysis patients.

Because Hlushmanuk had a criminal record that included conviction for burglary, assault and firearms violations, he was ineligible to operate the company under his own name, so he used a straw owner identified in documents only as B.R.

Starcare employees instructed patients who could otherwise walk to climb onto stretchers for their three-times-a-week trips to dialysis clinics. Each round-trip averaged $400 allowing the company to continuously bill Medicare for the unnecessary rides, according to investigators.

During the course of five years, Starcare billed over $5,443,315.72 in rides to the U.S. government.

The indictment, which demands the return of the money, along with a 2006 Hummer, charges 21 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud and one count of aiding and abetting in a false statement relating to a health care matter.

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or samwood@phillynews.com.

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