Houston-area ambulance operator must serve 5 years for fraud

A businessman who operated an ambulance company in the Houston area must serve more than five years in federal prison for running what prosecutors call a $2.8 million billing scam.

Keeble Lovall of Houston was sentenced Thursday to 63 months over unnecessary or unauthorized transports during 2011 and 2012 as part of Medicare and Medicaid billings. Lovall last July pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Prosecutors say the 46-year-old Lovall owned Your Health EMS and knowingly billed the federal programs for transports not covered by the government or for trips never made.

Investigators say in some cases Lovall submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for individual ambulance transports, when multiple patients were in the same emergency vehicle.

Lovall was sentenced in Houston.

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