The man police say was behind the wheel of the Audi that struck and killed a mother and her sons in Philadelphia was an ambulance driver recently released on bail in a fraud scheme, according to records.
Khusen "Hass" Akhmedov, 23, of Lancaster, was charged along with Ahmen Holloman, 30, of Philadelphia, in connection with Tuesday night’s crash that killed the four family members as they crossed Roosevelt Boulevard in the city’s Feltonville neighborhood.
Witnesses said the men were drag racing when the Audi driven by Akhmedov plowed into Samara Banks, 28, and her three youngest sons as they crossed the boulevard where medians separated traffic lanes without a crosswalk or traffic light. Banks’ son, 5, was also struck but survived.
Bail of $2.5 million was set today each for Akhmedov and Holloman in the crash case. The two face charges of homicide by vehicle, recklessly endangering another person, aggravated assault, simple assault and aggravated assault by vehicle stemming from the crash Tuesday night.
However, federal records show Akhmendov was currently out on $100,000 bail after being indicted in April as part of a $3.6 million scheme to defraud Medicare by providing medically unnecessary ambulance rides.
In that case, federal prosecutors allege that the owners and drivers of Penn Choice Ambulance, Inc., with locations in Huntingdon Valley and Camp Hill, orchestrated a scheme from September 2009 through January 2013 to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare.
The scheme, as outlined in court documents, consisted of finding people to say they needed ambulances to get to medical treatments. However, those trips were unnecessary, prosecutors allege, with the ‘patients’ often able to walk or drive on their own.
Medicare reimbursement polices state that ambulance companies will only be paid for trips that are medically necessary.
“Penn Choice transported by ambulance, or directed other Penn Choice employees to transport by ambulance, patients who could walk or safely transported by other means, falsely representing to Medicare that these patients required transportation by ambulance,” the indictment states.”
Penn Choice recruited patients, for example, who needed dialysis treatment multiple times per week, allowing the ambulance company to bill “extensively” for the trips.
The indictment states that Akhmendov, a driver for the Penn Choice, delivered kickback payments to the patients and falsified trip sheets submitted to Medicare. Penn Choice would then put a claim into Medicare of between $800 and $900 for a trip - or more.
Akhmendov was released April 10 on $100,000 bail in the federal case, which is scheduled for trial in March, 2014.
Akhmendov's Facebook page says he is from Russia and contains multiple pictures of the Audi. It also has video of him drag racing in the Audi. You can view it here.