Owner of ambulance company sentenced to 9 years for Medicare fraud

The owner-operator of an ambulance company was sentenced Monday to nine years in federal prison for running a $1.5 million Medicare scam. Yaroslav “Steven” Proshak, 47, of Valley Village, operated ProMed Medical Transportation, a California ambulance company that provided non-emergency transportation services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients.

Also, a U.S. District Judge sentenced his co-defendants Emilia Zverev, 58, of Van Nuys, and Sharetta Michelle Wallace, 37, of Inglewood, to three- and two-year prison terms, respectively. Each defendant was ordered to pay $805,000 in restitution.

A federal jury in Los Angeles in August convicted Proshak, Zverev and Wallace each of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud. Zverev was ProMed’s billing manager, and Wallace supervised the company’s emergency medical technicians.

The prosecution presented evidence that the defendants conspired to bill Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals they knew did not need such services. Also, that they instructed EMTs who worked at ProMed to conceal the true medical conditions of patients they were transporting by altering requisite paperwork and creating fraudulent documents to justify the transportation services, according to federal prosecutors.

The evidence also showed that ProMed submitted at least $2.4 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary transportation services. Medicare paid at least $1.5 million of those claims.