The former owner of a Norfolk private ambulance has been sentenced to 13 months in federal prison for healthcare fraud.
According to the Virginia Pilot, the former owner of Swift Medical Transport, Houman “Mike” Motii, hired personnel who were not able to pass their EMT examinations and drove ambulances without a driver’s license.
“It is mind-boggling as to why Motii thought running an ambulance service without a driver’s license was either legal or appropriate,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Yusi said.
Motii pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud for overbilling Medicare and Tricare $63,000 from April 2015 through April 2017. He also hired employees who were unable to pass their certification as well as personnel without a valid driver’s license. Motii’s driver’s license and EMT license was also suspended.
Motti billed Medicare and Tricare for trips, including those he worked as the driver or attendant in charge.
Employees recall taking patients to appointments and not having any training on the use of a defibrillator. At one point, they had to divert to a nearby hospital because the patient they were transporting went into cardiac arrest.
The investigation also revealed that employees were suspected of working while intoxicated and that patients were transported in ambulances with empty or nearly empty oxygen canisters.
Despite the issues, Swift Medical Transport is still open and being operated by Motii’s wife, who states that Motii is no longer associated with the business.
There is an ongoing compliance investigation underway with the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services.