M. TERRY / SFVS

A former employee of the Mauran Ambulance Service, Inc., based in the City of San Fernando, has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his role in a scheme that resulted in more than $1.1 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Aharon Aron Krkasharyan, 54, of Los Angeles, was sentenced on Monday, April 16, by U.S. District Judge George H. Wu. The judge also ordered Krkasharyan to pay $484,556 in restitution to Medicare, jointly and severally with his co-conspirators, who await sentencing.

On Nov. 27, 2017, Krkasharyan pleaded guilty before Wu to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Others charged in the scheme and pleading guilty included Toros Onik Yeranosian, 55, a former owner of Mauran; Oxana Loutseiko, 57, the former general manager of Mauran; and Maria Espinoza, 47, a former employee of a Los Angeles dialysis treatment center.

Yeranosian, Loutseiko and Espinoza await sentencing.  The former dispatch supervisor at Mauran, Christian Hernandez, 37, who was previously charged in the case, also pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Krkasharyan was employed as the Quality Improvement Coordinator for Mauran Ambulance Inc., an ambulance transportation company operating in the greater Los Angeles area that provided non-emergency services to Medicare beneficiaries, many of whom were dialysis patients.

As part of his plea, Krkasharyan admitted that between June 2011 and April 2012, he conspired with other Mauran employees to submit claims to Medicare for ambulance transportation services for individuals who did not need such services.

Krkasharyan also admitted that he and his co-conspirators instructed Mauran emergency medical technicians to conceal the patients’ true medical conditions by altering paperwork and creating fraudulent reasons to justify the ambulance services.

According to court documents, during the course of the conspiracy, Mauran submitted over $28 million in claims to Medicare. Krkasharyan’s co-defendants admitted that at least $6.6 million of those claims were false and fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary transportation services.

Medicare paid at least $3.1 million on those false and fraudulent claims.

The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged nearly 3,500 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $12.5 billion.