OWNERS OF MURFREESBORO AMBULANCE SERVICE FOUND GUILTY OF 42 COUNTS OF CONSPIRACY, MEDICARE FRAUD, WIRE FRAUD, AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT
Woody Medlock, Sr., 69, and his wife, Kathy Medlock, 57, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, former owners of Murfreesboro Ambulance Service, were convicted by a jury on charges of conspiracy, Medicare fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, announced David Rivera, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. A third defendant, Woody (“Bubba”) Medlock, Jr., was acquitted of similar charges.
According to the evidence presented at trial and the indictment, from approximately 1996 through September 2008, the Medlocks conspired and engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid by submitting claims for payment for the transportation of patients who were not qualified to receive ambulance transportation. Evidence at trial showed that the Medlocks submitted or caused to be submitted, through Murfreesboro Ambulance Service, fraudulent claims totaling more than $1,600,000, to Medicare and Medicaid for reimbursement of ambulance transports of patients to and from dialysis treatments.
Testimony at trial further showed that these fraudulent claims falsely represented that patients were on stretchers when the patients were actually transported in the front seat of the ambulance or in the captain’s chair/jump seat in the back of the ambulance and were not on stretchers. Fraudulent claims also stated that patients were transported individually when in fact, two patients had been transported simultaneously in one ambulance.
Both defendants were convicted of two counts of aggravated identity theft for using the names and Medicare numbers of patients without lawful authority in submitting claims. Kathy Medlock was also convicted of an additional count of aggravated identity theft for use of a doctor’s name in forging and submitting multiple medical necessity forms as part of a Medicare audit.
“This case represents another example that this office will hold individuals accountable when they steal from health care programs intended to help the elderly and the most needy citizens,” said David Rivera, Acting United States Attorney. “This office, along with our law enforcement partners at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, will relentlessly pursue those who choose to defraud the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
“The Medlocks were running a tax-payer funded taxi service disguised as an ambulance company,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “The flow of Medicare money has been shut off to this husband and wife team.”
"Today's verdict validates the FBI's commitment to investigate those who take advantage of our health care system and defraud the American public," said A. Todd McCall, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Memphis Division. "We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute those who commit health care fraud."
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The United States is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Sandra G. Moses, Special Assistant United States Attorney James S. Seaman, and Assistant United States Attorney Christopher C. Sabis.
Stop Medicare Fraud
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are working together to help eliminate fraud and investigate fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid operators who are cheating the system.