More people coming forward in ambulance Medicare fraud case
More people are coming forward claiming to be victims of the owner of an ambulance company who admits stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the government.
Since Eyewitness News spoke to a woman Wednesday who said Kenneth Lock hit her with his ambulance, three more people have contacted us.
When Eyewitness News caught up with ambulance company owner and driver Kenneth Lock II, he refused to answer our questions about his federal guilty plea for Medicare fraud.
The 24-year-old drove to Camby, Indiana late Thursday to pick up his paycheck at a limousine company. The owners, father and son Robbie and Tim Hill, terminated Lock as one of their contract drivers. They suspected he was not being truthful about how he charged people for rides to destinations throughout Indianapolis.
Hill learned about his federal charges and guilty plea watching Eyewitness News.
"The last thing we need is a black-eye, even if does not affect our customers. The last thing we need is a fraud situation," said Robbie Hill. The family limousine business decided to sever ties with Lock after a recent car crash during off-company time.
Federal investigators say for two years as Kenneth Lock owned and operated Samaritan Ambulance, he transported patients unnecessarily in his vehicles and overcharged Medicare by the thousands.
Fraud detectives say what should have been a $40 billing to Medicare for transport ended up repeatedly being $330. The higher amount is only allowed for mandatory ambulatory transport.
Lock hit federal investigators' radar after Eyewitness News reported his 90-day suspension by state officials. That occurred after his company Samaritan Ambulance failed inspections for patient transport care regulations.
The state gave Lock requirements to meet in order to get his license reinstated but that never happened. In all, he is accused of bilking Medicare of more than $559,000 in transport fees from January 2010 to January 2013.
But Lock's federal charges are not his only troubles. Eyewitness News has uncovered at least four people who say they have been victims of his business practices or his evading financial responsibilities following vehicle accidents.
Betsy Blanchard says on September 19, 2013, Lock ran a red light and totaled her car with one of his limousines.
"He plowed right into me," said Blanchard. "I did not see him coming so the impact caught me by surprise when he T-boned my car, knocking it into a utility pole up on a curb."
Blanchard says Lock gave her and police phony information at the scene.
"He gave the officer a false address. He also gave an insurance policy that did not exist," said Blanchard.
Her insurance company took care of replacing her car after learning that Lock reportedly had no valid car insurance.
Eyewitness News has also learned that the limousine Lock drove was registered to someone else who sources say was in business with Lock for a company called Abernathy Limousine. The same source revealed that Lock is accused of keeping funds paid by people who solicited services.
Those trying to track down Lock may have to wait because the 24-year-old is scheduled for federal sentencing on October 31, 2013. He faces up to ten years and the judge may also order him to pay a minimum of $400,000 in restitution to the federal government.