Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach announced that the husband and wife owners of a Maple Heights ambulette company will each serve time in prison for fraudulently billing Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of dollars of transportation services that they did not actually provide.
This morning, United States District Court Northern District of Ohio Judge Patricia Gaughan sentenced Antwain Hamilton, 37, to serve 30 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to nine charges of heath care fraud in March. Temeca Hamilton, 37, who pleaded guilty to the same charges, plus a charge of witness tampering, was sentenced to serve 33 months in prison.
The couple, owners of Star Medical Transportation, was also ordered to jointly and severally pay restitution to the Medicaid program in the amount of $823,283.
The pair, who reside in Solon, were indicted on federal charges earlier this year after an investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that between January 2010 and January 2014 they billed Medicaid for hundreds of thousands of dollars of transportation services that were either improperly provided or never provided at all.
"In some cases, our investigation found that this couple billed for ambulette runs that they claimed they made at the same time that they were vacationing out of state," DeWine said. "These individuals took lavish trips with the money that they weren't entitled to and didn't work for, and now they must pay the price by repaying those funds and serving jail time."
“The punishment in this case reflects the brazen fraud in which these defendants engaged. Even after they knew they were under investigation, they kept defrauding the Medicaid program. Now, it is the defendants who must pay for their corrupt actions,” Dettelbach said.
Temeca Hamilton's witness tampering charge relates to her attempt to persuade a Medicaid recipient to mislead investigators during the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by attorneys with U.S. Attorney Dettelbach's Office and Ohio Attorney General DeWine's Health Care Fraud Section. The Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services assisted in the investigation.