Two Bensalem ambulance companies and their owners have agreed to pay nearly $460,000 to settle allegations that they lied to state and federal officials as they defrauded Medicare, U.S. Attorney William McSwain announced.

Unicare Ambulance and PA Paramedics, which did business as EasternCare Ambulance, and their owners, Damon and Amy Wade, allegedly made false statements from September 2015 through August 2016 to avoid payments to Medicare and to hide that Damon Wade’s state paramedic license had been suspended for forging a physician’s signature, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania claimed in a complaint filed in federal court.

The state Department of Health eventually learned the truth and revoked Unicare’s ambulance license, but Unicare allegedly continued to provide ambulance services and bill Medicare, lied about its ownership, and kept its fraudulently obtained reimbursement funds, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The settlement requires the companies and owners to pay $459,907 and bars them from participating in federal health-care programs for five years.

Damon and Amy Wade could not be reached for comment.

“Ownership disclosure and licensing requirements ensure that health care in Pennsylvania is provided by qualified, competent, and trustworthy professionals,” McSwain said in a statement. “Attempts to undermine or defraud those systems put Pennsylvanians at risk and allow sleazy operators to continue providing services under new corporate identities.”

In 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Program Integrity revoked Unicare’s Medicare enrollment for three years and suspended pending payments to Unicare because of the fraudulent conduct.

“Medicare providers and suppliers cannot avoid repaying their overpayment debts by submitting false and misleading information in an attempt to mask their true identity,” Alec Alexander, director of CMS’ Center for Program Integrity, said in a statement.