A federal judge has refused to release the frozen assets of an ambulance company owner who was indicted by a grand jury last week for health care fraud.
Serge Sivchuk, owner of Harrisburg-based Advantage Medical Transport, had filed a motion to release money from his frozen bank accounts to pay federal and state taxes, according to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith.
The judge, however, sided with prosecutors who argued that Sivchuk would be using funds that were frozen because they were allegedly obtained fraudulently from the federal government to pay debts Sivchuk owed to the federal government.
More than $936,000 in Advantage- and Sivchuk-controlled bank accounts were frozen when a search warrant was executed in the case.
Sivchuk and his company were indicted on 14 counts of health care fraud, one count of conspiracy, and 14 counts of false statements.
Advantage's EMT and Dispatcher supervisor, 42-year-old David Paul of York, was also charged with conspiracy and 14 counts of false statements.
Smith said the 26-year-old Sivchuk devised a scheme that defrauded Medicare out of at least $1 million between January 2009 and June 2011.
According to Smith, the company submitted hundreds of claims for ambulance transports to and from dialysis treatment centers that were not medically necessary.
Advantage EMTs were then directed to rewrite or prepare ambulance "trip sheets" in a manner that supported the claims, and were threatened with reduced hours or termination if they refused, Smith said.