BUFFALO, Ind. (WLFI) - Federal investigators accuse a White County EMS service, the owner of the business and two employees of defrauding Medicare out of more than $2 million. Authorities said the fraud started almost as soon as the business began operating.
Hoosier EMS is just about the only business on the town of Buffalo's main strip, about 10 miles north of Monticello in White County.
Indictments filed Thursday in federal court spell out the multimillion dollar fraud that happened behind closed doors.
Owner Roy Dunn, employee and former co-owner Anthony Bitterling, and General Manager Kahley Vergon-Mayotte are nowhere to be found Friday evening. Each of the three people, along with Hoosier EMS, have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and three counts of scheme to commit health care fraud.
Investigators accuse the trio of falsifying documents to get Medicare reimbursements for taking patients to their dialysis appointments, something that is only reimbursible by the government if the person is confined to a bed.
But authorities said the trio directed employees to omit or rewrite trip records to disguise patient conditions and qualify illegally for reimbursement. Investigators said some patients sat in the jump seat chair in the back of the ambulance. Others actually walked in and out of the ambulance but were asked to lie on the stretcher on the ride to or from dialysis.
Documents detail 14 false claims between June 2009 and May 2012 at almost a $1,000 per trip. The total of the fraud is estimated at more than $2 million.
News 18 traveled to each of the six properties that could be seized if guilty verdicts or pleas are reached. They include the office in Buffalo and the employee parking and storage across the street, a combined value of $130,000.
No one answered the door at Roy Dunn's home on 800 North, about a mile south of the business. It's valued at $175,000. There's a construction permit in the front window and several ambulances sit out back.
Dunn also owns property on Logan Street near downtown Winamac in Pulaski County, about 20 miles northwest. It's valued at $40,000 and only appeared to have various supplies visible through the glass door.
No one answered the door either at Anthony Bitterling's home on Market Street in Winamac, not far from Dunn's property. It's valued at $48,000 and also has an ambulance in the driveway.
The final property is also Bitterling's, a boarded up home in Idaville valued at $7,000.
Court documents also spell out 41 vehicles and 5 wheelchairs that could be seized if the trio is guilty.
Hoosier EMS was created in October 2008. Authorities believe the fraud began the month after the business was certified as an ambulance provider in April 2009 and received a Medicaid provider number.
Authorities said Dunn and Bitterling were part-owners until Bitterling sold Dunn his interest to the business in December 2009. Bitterling stayed on as an employee.
Vergon-Mayotte began working at Hoosier EMS as an EMT in April 2009 and because the General Manager a year later.
Neighbors at all locations declined to make comment, stating both men, for the most part, kept to themselves.
Numerous messages left at Hoosier EMS have not been returned.
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