Health Service Employee Pleads Guilty to Fraud

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A former cocaine dealer who spent nine years in federal prison pleaded guilty this week to bilking the state and federal government for more than $400,000 through his Youngstown ambulette company.

Rolando Sepulveda, 51, pleaded guilty on Monday to three counts of health care fraud in exchange for prosecutors dropping four other counts.

He is scheduled to be sentenced June 3 by U.S. Northern District Judge Sara Lioi in Akron.

The indictment said Sepulveda operated the now-defunct Med Transportation, Inc., which provided non-emergency transportation for poor patients using a wheelchair to doctor’s appointments covered by Medicare. The federal government paid for 60 percent of the cost and the state paid the rest.

The charges allege Sepulveda provided transportation to able-bodied patients from Aug. 27, 2008 through Aug. 15, 2011, yet billed the state for $406,000 in coverage as if the patients were handicapped.

The U.S. Attorney’s office and the Ohio Attorney General’s office investigated and are jointly prosecuting the case in federal court, according to statements from both agencies. Sepulveda was belived to be living in Puerto Rico at the time he was charged.

Court records show Sepulveda was sentenced to serve seven-and-a-half years in federal prison by Lioi in 1996 for conspiring to sell cocaine. He was also sentenced to undergo drug and alcohol addiction treatment and to forfeit $50,444 and two vehicles, a 1992 Nissan and a 1976 Jeep, according to court records.

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