Man gets 2-year prison term, ordered to repay about $350,000 after Medicare fraud conviction

Money should have been spent on sick patients who legitimately needed help, authorities say.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jun 10, 2013

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach have announced that Rolando Sepulveda was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $349,579.96 in restitution for submitting fraudulent bills to the Ohio Medicaid Program for transportation services his ambulette company never provided.

"This individual willfully billed Medicaid for services he never provided and pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars that could have been directed to patients who truly needed help," Attorney General DeWine said. "Today he is being held accountable for his crimes."

"This money should have been spent on sick patients who legitimately needed help," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "Instead, this man took the money for himself and tried to stick the rest of the taxpayers with the bill."

The sentence was handed down June 4 by U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi.

On April 15, Sepulveda, a Youngstown resident who operated the now-defunct Med Transportation of Youngstown, pleaded guilty to three counts of Health Care Fraud. Sepulveda transported able-bodied Medicaid recipients to medical appointments while billing the state as if each client needed wheelchair assistance. He also billed Medicaid for an extra attendant who was never present or needed. As a result, Sepulveda received more than $300,000 to which he was not entitled.

The case was the result of a joint investigation between the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General.

Ohioans can report suspected Medicaid fraud to Attorney General DeWine's office by calling 1-800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.

Individuals or health care company employees who suspect fraud against government health insurance programs also can report them anonymously online at www.stopmedicarefraud.gov, or by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).