Youngstown Medicaid cheater gets 2 years in prison

AKRON — A federal judge sentenced a Youngstown man to two years in prison for fraudulently billing nearly $350,000 to Ohio Medicaid.

U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi imposed the sentence Monday on Rolando Sepulveda, 51, who had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of health care fraud in connection with his Med Transportation ambulette company.

The judge ordered Sepulveda to make $349,580 in restitution to Ohio Medicaid, and he will be on three years of supervised release after prison.

Sepulveda defrauded Medicaid by charging it for rides of patients who didn’t use or need wheelchairs and billing Medicaid for ambulette attendants when the company used no such attendants, the U.S. Attorney said.

“This money should have been spent on sick patients who legitimately needed help,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “Instead, this man took the money for himself and tried to stick the rest of the taxpayers with the bill,” he added.

Ambulette services contract with Medicaid to transport wheelchair-using patients in specially-equipped vans, known as ambulettes.

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