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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Former Saltville Rescue Squad President Sentenced

Eddie Louthian Sr. To Serve 48 Months In Federal Prison

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- The former president of the Saltville Rescue Squad was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon on healthcare fraud charges.

Following a jury trial last September, Eddie Wayne Louthian Sr., 60, of Saltville, Va., was found guilty on 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 and one count of making a false statement to a federal grand jury.

Today in District Court he was sentenced to 48 months in Federal prison and three years of supervised release thereafter.

“Mr. Louthian used the Saltville Rescue Squad as a vehicle to defraud the Medicare program,” said United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy. “A jury found him guilty to fraudulently billing Medicare for unnecessary services, acts for which he was now been justly punished. This office will continue to root out health care fraud, which drives up costs to consumers.”

“Not only did Mr. Louthian defraud the Medicare system of hundreds of thousands of dollars, he also robbed from seniors in need of medical care. Fraud like his inevitably drives prices up for medical services, which all of us end up paying for,” said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Monica Hicks, a member of the rescue squad also charged in the scheme, previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

Following evidence presented by Virginia Assistant Attorneys General and Special Assistant United States Attorneys Janine Myatt and Vaso Doubles, a jury found that 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. The jury found that the defendant was obtaining reimbursement for transporting patients that did not qualify for non-emergency transport.

The jury found that between December 6, 2005 and September 17, 2011, the defendant fraudulently billed Medicare approximately $1,650,000 and fraudulently received approximately $750,000 in reimbursements for Medicare ambulance transports.

In addition, the jury found that between December 20, 2005 and September 3, 2011, the defendant fraudulently billed Anthem approximately $1,000,000 and fraudulently received approximately $130,000 in reimbursements for ambulance transports.

The defendant was also found guilty of submitting fraudulent trip sheets and Certificates of Medical Necessity forms for billing purposes and made false statements before a Federal Grand Jury.

The District Court also imposed a money judgment against Louthian for $907,521, the full amount of the fraud. The court also forfeited assets associated with Louthian, including
bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, and an ambulance service, in partial satisfaction of the money judgment. The court will determine the interest of other persons in these assets at a later hearing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Virginia Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Janine Myatt and Vaso Doubles prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated April 15, 2015