Jasper ambulance owners on trial for fraud

BEAUMONT, TX (KTRE) - They were indicted four months ago and now their case has landed in Federal Court.

Jury selection is underway in Beaumont in the case of Claudette and Robert Read, the owners of a Jasper ambulance company.  The couple was indicted and charged with billing more than $1.6 million dollars in fraudulent bills to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Last April, a federal grand jury indicted them for 75 counts of fraud.  According to the indictment, the Reads transported patients by ambulance when it wasn't necessary.  The fraudulent transports were reportedly made between 2004 and 2007.  The couple allegedly instructed employees to omit references to wheelchair to ensure a "paid" run and submit all claims, even ones they knew did not qualify for reimbursement, in case Medicare and Medicaid would pay the claim.