Both Guam Medical Transport General Manager Jared Ada and Billings Manager Trevor Cruz admitted to falsifying documents for Medicare and TriCare claims.
Guam – Two management level employees of a medical transportation company officially pleaded guilty in District Court today to Medicare fraud charges involving millions of dollars. While this may be a victory for the prosecution, the federal government may still pursue charges against other individuals.
Guam Medical Transport General Manager Jared Ada and Billings Manager Trevor Cruz appeared separately in the District Court of Guam today. The reason is to officially enter pleas of guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
As part of a scheme to defraud the government, Ada and Cruz admitted to falsifying documents in an effort to get Medicare and TriCare reimbursements for patients who did not qualify for federal government funded medical transport.
The conspiracy went on for four years from 2010 to 2014 and the US Attorneys Office says the company received nearly $11 million of the $30 million they billed in Medicare and TriCare claims.
However, in court today Ada’s defense counsel, Attorney Jeffrey Moots, stated that while Ada doesn’t dispute the amount, he says he doesn’t have personal knowledge of the dollar figures because he wasn’t involved in the billing process.
“How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?” Judge Manibusan asked Ada during his hearing.
“Guilty, your honor,” he answered.
At the conclusion of Ada’s hearing we asked Moots for comment. But he says he could not comment on the case.
Both Ada and Cruz will still have to face sentencing. In court today, Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan reminded the defendants that they could face a jail term of up to 10 years, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
However, under the plea agreement, the prosecution will make sentencing guideline recommendations. According to the plea deal, sentencing guidelines may be affected because the amount involved is greater than the statutory minimum of $25 million but less than $65 million, because both were management level employees and because they attempted to obstruct the investigation by falsifying documents that were turned over to the FBI.
With that in mind, however, Judge Manibusan cautioned Ada and Cruz that the judge will make the ultimate decision and it could be different from what is contained in the plea agreement.
Meanwhile, charges may still be pending for other individuals with the company Guam Medical Transport. Court papers say that both Ada and Trevor committed these crimes “at the behest” of GMT’s owners.
Though prosecutors don’t name who the owners are, the company’s website states that GMT was founded in 2009 by Clifford Shoemake, Casey Conner and Michael Brazel.
The next hearing is scheduled for May 5 at 3 pm. A sentencing date has not yet been set.