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Pa. Ambulance Operator Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Ivan Tkach, 30, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty today to charges relating to a private ambulance company's involvement in a health care fraud scheme.

Tkach admitted to giving false statements relating to health care and illegal remunerations relating to health care services. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 12, 2012 before U.S. District William H. Yohn, Jr. Tkach faces an advisory sentencing guideline range of 37 to 57 months in prison and has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $1.26 million to Medicare.

Tkach was indicted along with his bosses Alla and Ilya Sivchuk; Ilya Sivchuk was convicted by a jury in November 2011 and Alla Sivchuk was acquitted. Tkach was excluded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2004 from providing services under the Medicare Program due to his prior criminal convictions, yet continued to operate Advantage Ambulance Company and drive patients in ambulances.

Tkach ran Advantage with the knowledge of Ilya Sivchuk, who also made false statements regarding the nature of Tkach's employment to federal agents. In addition, Tkach gave kickback payments in 2008 to a worker at a Philadelphia kidney dialysis center in exchange for patient referrals to Advantage.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Morgan.



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