PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A suburban Philadelphia ambulance company and its top two officials have pleaded guilty to federal charges in a scheme that prosecutors said cost the Medicare and Medicaid programs more than $2.5 million in improper payments.

MedEx Ambulance Inc. of Feasterville and its owners, Aleksandr and Sergey Zagorodny, were each charged with 41 counts of health care fraud, false statements, wire fraud and conspiracy. Authorities said Tuesday that sentencing is scheduled July 2.

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Prosecutors said that beginning in November 2007 until October of last year, the company transported patients, mostly dialysis patients, who didn’t need ambulances and were ineligible for the service under Medicare rules, and then falsified eligibility documents.

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Authorities said four ambulances purchased for more than $200,000 and three bank accounts will be subject to criminal forfeiture proceedings.

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