By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The operators of Montgomery County Ambulance Company are charged with improperly billing Medicare for millions of dollars for unnecessary medical transports of dialysis patients and paying some patients bonuses for cooperating in the scheme.

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A federal indictment charges 31-year-old Beana Bell, and her husband, 32-year-old Vadim Fleshler, both of Philadelphia, with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and related charges through Superior EMS Ambulance Company in Huntingdon Valley.

Prosecutor Beth Leahy says the company billed Medicare for $4.4 million and received a total of nearly $2.4 million for the transports from September 2010 through August of this year.

She says the couple also got patients involved.

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“The defendants were paying some dialysis patients bonuses, which would be illegal kickbacks, in order to induce them to ride with Superior because they did not need ambulance transport,” Leahy said.

Bell was released on bail.

Fleshler faces a detention hearing later this week and was committed to federal prison.

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