Owners of Murfreesboro Ambulance Service Found Guilty of Fraud, Identity Theft www.privateofficer.com
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Nashville TN June 5 2013
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.”
The Medlocks face up to 20 years in prison, plus an additional mandatory two years, for aggravated identity theft and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and applicable federal statutes.
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.
Wilson and Wray were indicted on June 15, 2011and both pleaded guilty in January 2012.
According to the indictment, between April 5, 2011 and June 15, 2011, Wilson received cash payments totaling $24,500 for his assistance to individuals he believed to be drug traffickers. Wilson’s assistance included transporting what he believed to be cocaine and drug money to locations in and around Nashville. On three occasions, Wilson was on duty, in uniform, and in an official police vehicle while assisting individuals whom he believed to be drug traffickers.
Wray assisted Wilson in transporting purported cocaine and drug money on two occasions.
Wray’s plea agreement detailed a June 7, 2011, FBI-controlled undercover operation, during which Wilson, while in uniform and on duty, met with Wray and an undercover FBI agent at a local truck stop to obtain a bag containing five kilograms of purported cocaine. Wilson and Wray believed the undercover agent to be a drug trafficker and after obtaining the five kilograms of purported cocaine, Wilson and Wray proceeded to a local restaurant where they met with another undercover FBI agent whom they also believed to be a drug trafficker. During the meeting, that undercover agent gave Wilson and Wray a locked bag containing $15,000 in cash in exchange for the bag containing five kilograms of purported cocaine.
After receiving the bag containing $15,000 in cash, Wilson proceeded to a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee and delivered the $15,000 to undercover agents and was paid $5,000 in cash for transporting the purported cocaine and money in his patrol car. Wray was not with Wilson during the meeting at the hotel, but he was paid part of the $5,000 for his assistance to Wilson.
This case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Scarlett Singleton and Jimmie Lynn Ramsaur.
Reported by: FBI