Cochise County Medical Transport Manager Sentenced to Five Years in Prison; Ordered to Forfeit $1.2 million

(Phoenix, Ariz. - December 29, 2004)  Paul Promaj, the manager of a Cochise County medical transportation contractor called Angel Transport, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison after he was found guilty in July of fraud, theft and money laundering in a mileage scheme designed to collect money from three AHCCSS (Arizona Health Cost Containment System) contractors.  Cochise Health Systems and Arizona Physicians IPA lost $385,628.50 in this scheme.

Cochise County Superior Court Presiding Judge Thomas Collins cited the large financial gain, the financial harm to the victims and the repetitive conduct as factors weighed in sentencing Promaj, who lived in Sierra Vista.

Collins also ordered restitution for two of the victims in the case:

  • Cochise Health Systems:  $4,226.50
  • Arizona Physicians IPA (part of UnitedHealth Group):  $185,762.65 (minus the costs recovered by Arizona Physicians by withholding payments from the defendant)

The Attorney General’s Office also used civil racketeering remedies to obtain a forfeiture judgment against Promaj for more than $1.2 million.  This figure includes the fraud loss and costs incurred by the Attorney General’s office in prosecuting and investigating the case. 

In July, Collins found Promaj guilty of one count of Fraud Schemes and Artifices, two counts of Theft, two counts of Money Laundering and three counts of Forgery for turning in false mileage claims and inflating mileage.    

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Todd Lawson and Erica Gonzalez-Melendez, members of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  This unit was named National Fraud Unit of the Year in 2003 by the Office of the Inspector General.