FBI Raids Air Evac HQs in West Plains

WEST PLAIN, MO - FBI agents who searched the offices of the Air Evac Lifeteam headquarters in West Plains yesterday are investigating a case that is apparently related to billing and health care compliance.

The company, which provides air ambulances services to rural areas in Missouri, Arkansas, and ten other states, said it cooperated fully when agents served search warrants.  Air Evac operates a facility in Lake City, but a spokesman there said the Craighead County facility has not been directly affected by the investigation.  Paramedic Supervisor Tim Riggsbee referred all other inquiries to the company's West Plains office.  A company statement said its air services have not been disrupted by the FBI inquiry.

Air Evac was founded in 1985.

FBI Special Agent Monte Strait would not give any other details about the search, of which approximately 50 FBI agents participated.

According to one report, the FBI had at least four warrants in hand and sent a number of company employees home and told them not to come back until Thursday.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)