** Former Texas ambulance service owner sent to jail for 30 years
** Pennsylvania police issue warrant for former fireman who allegedly stole ambulance
UNITED STATES NEWS
** The former owner of a Houston, Texas ambulance service has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for a Medicaid/Medicare scam in which mentally ill patients were deceived. The Houston Press (Meaghan Flynn/November 16) said Chimaroke Echenwune, 44, was handed the sentence Tuesday by a Harris County judge. According to the newspaper, Echenwune’s company, Diamex EMS, fraudulently billed Medicaid and Medicare for hospital transports of mentally handicapped patients when the individuals were only taken to adult daycares or nowhere at all. In addition, Echenwune’s charge for such journeys was often 3 times his normal rate. Patient records were also falsified in the scam, along with a doctor’s signature. The cost of his deception was over $1.3 million. In addition to jail, Echenwune must also pay a $10,000 fine.
** Police in Doyleston, Pennsylvania have issued an arrest warrant for a former fire company member who allegedly stole an ambulance Friday in revenge for being fired earlier this year. That is the word from The Mercury News (Rose Quinn/November 16) which said Anthony James Lima, 22, was terminated from his position in May after fire brass found he was wanted for auto theft. The Friday heist was attributed to Lima after firehouse surveillance footage was reviewed. A former colleague contacted a friend with whom Lima was staying that day and found the suspect’s clothing matched what Lima was wearing. The ambulance, meanwhile, was recovered the next morning from an area restaurant parking lot. At press time, Lima remained at large.