February 3, 2004 -- Posted at 7:43 AM CDT
LITTLE ROCK, AR --A now-defunct Jonesboro ambulance company, its general manager and its office manager have been sentenced in a federal Medicare fraud case.
Kevin Wise, who was the company's general manager, was sentenced yesterday in federal court to two-and-one-half years in prison and fined six-thousand dollars for his convictions last year on four counts of helping to file false claims.
U-S District Judge James Moody ordered Patient Transfer Service Incorporated to pay a fine of nearly one-point-two million dollars. Prosecutors claimed the company and owner Don Wise, Kevin Wise's brother, were engaged in a conspiracy to cheat government health-care programs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing false Medicare claims for Medicare services in the 1990s.
Jurors found the company guilty of 22 counts of helping file false claims and two counts of making false statements to either Medicare or Medicaid. The jury acquitted P-T-S of the most serious charge, mail fraud.
Shirley Wallace, a cousin of the Wise brothers who was office manager, was sentenced to three years' probation, beginning with six months of home detention.
Wallace was convicted of one count of helping to file false claims, and the jury acquitted her of two counts of making false statements involving Medicaid. Don Wise, Kevin Wise and Wallace were acquitted of conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid programs.