April 25, 2003
Posted at: 7:40 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Jurors in the conspiracy and fraud trial of three Jonesboro ambulance company managers went home for the weekend after beginning deliberations.
The federal jury considered the case against Patient Transfer Service managers for hours before being dismissed until Monday.
Prosecutors say the company illegally billed Medicare and Medicaid for taking dialysis patients to and from treatment. They say the patients did not need to ride in an ambulance.
Federal prosecutor Sandra Cherry told jurors the case is about greed and the defendants hurt those who depend on Medicare and Medicaid by defrauding the programs.
The defendants are company owner Don Wise, general manager Kevin Wise and office manager Shirley Wallace.
Defense attorneys told jurors the patients were in bad enough health to ride in an ambulance and argued there is no proof of a conspiracy.
Sam Perroni, who represents Donald Wise, says people who need dialysis are considered disabled under the Social Security Act and the law allows Medicare and Medicaid to pay for services to the disabled.