Ambulance Service Owner Charged With Fraud

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Ubanwa was the owner and manager of Northwest Ambulance Service from 2007 until earlier this year. (photo courtesy of Northwest Ambulance Service) Ubanwa was the owner and manager of Northwest Ambulance Service from 2007 until earlier this year. (photo courtesy of Northwest Ambulance Service)
HAMMOND -

The owner of Northwest Ambulance Service in Crown Point is facing a dozen healthcare fraud-related charges. U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch’s office says Basil Ubanwa allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance services between 2011 and 2018.

Kirsch's office says the primary source of revenue for Northwest Ambulance Service was transporting patients to and from kidney dialysis appointments. A federal indictment alleges Ubanwa directed his employees to transport patients by ambulance who did not qualify for ambulance transportation and who were not eligible to receive such services. The employees were then instructed by Ubanwa and others to bill Medicare and Medicaid for service that were not medically necessary and/or were not provided.

Ubanwa was indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Kirsch's office says the government is seeking criminal forfeiture of the proceeds from the alleged crimes including, but not limited to, the nearly $2 million from bank accounts associated with Northwest Ambulance and Ubanwa.

If convicted, a federal judge will determine Ubanwa's sentence after considering federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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