Charges Filed Against Saltville Rescue Squad
Eddie Louthian Sr. And Monica Hicks Charged With Healthcare Fraud
ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- The Saltville Rescue Squad, the president of the squad’s board of directors and an employee have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon on charges related to a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.
In an indictment returned under seal on January 18, 2012 and unsealed earlier today, the grand jury has charged the Saltville Rescue Squad, President of the Board of Directors Eddie Wayne Louthian Sr., 59, of Saltville, Va. and rescue squad employee Monica Jane Hicks of Meadowview, Va.
Saltville Rescue Squad Inc. is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, five counts of making false statements in relation to a healthcare matter and two counts of money laundering.
Louthian is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, four counts of making false statements in relation to a healthcare matter, two counts of money laundering and one count of making a false statement to a federal grand jury.
Hicks is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, one count of healthcare fraud and one count of making false statements in relation to a healthcare matter.
According to the indictment, Saltville Rescue Squad, Louthian and Hicks conspired to fraudulently bill Medicare and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield for non-emergency ambulance services for Medicare eligible patients.
In order to receive Medicare reimbursements for non-emergency ambulance transports patients must be bed-confined or otherwise in such a medical condition that ambulance transport is necessary. It is alleged in the indictment that the defendants were obtaining reimbursement for transporting patients that did not qualify for non-emergency transport.
The indictment alleges that between December 6, 2005 and September 17, 2011, the defendants fraudulently billed Medicare approximately $1,650,000 and fraudulently received approximately $750,000 in reimbursements for Medicare ambulance transports.
The indictment also alleges that between December 20, 2005 and September 3, 2011, the defendants fraudulently billed Anthem approximately $1,000,000 and fraudulently received approximately $130,000 in reimbursements for ambulance transports.
In addition, the grand jury has alleged that the defendants submitted fraudulent trip sheets and Certificates of Medical Necessity forms for billing purposes, made false statements before a Federal Grand Jury and laundered money.
The United States is seeking the forfeiture of approximately $800,000 in cash, any vehicles purchased with funds obtained through criminal activity and a 40 acre parcel of property on Buckeye Hollow Road, Smyth County, Va.
The investigation of the case is being conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Virginia Attorney General’s Office Medicare Fraud Control Unit and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. Special Assistant United States Attorneys Janine Myatt and Vaso Doubles will prosecute the case for the United States.
A Grand Jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.