Dallas press conference

Officials in Dallas on Wednesday announced that 58 people across all four federal districts in Texas have been charged for their alleged involvement in Medicare fraud schemes and networks of “pill mill” clinics resulting in $66 million in loss and 6.2 million pills.

A Longview man who officials said operated the nonemergency ambulance service Tiger EMS has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and more than $750,000 in restitution for health care fraud.

Joseph Valdie Kimble, 62, pleaded guilty Sept. 11 before U.S. Judge John D. Love, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown announced Wednesday in a written statement.

Kimble’s plea was read during a Wednesday news conference in Dallas with Texas U.S. attorneys and the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, according to the statement. During the news conference, officials announced that 58 people across four federal districts in Texas had been charged for suspected involvement in Medicare fraud schemes and networks of “pill mill” clinics resulting in $66 million in loss and 6.2 million pills. Of those charged, 16 were doctors or medical professionals, and 20 were charged for their role in diverting opioids.

According to information presented in court, Kimble operated Tiger EMS, which provides nonemergency ambulance service between skilled nursing centers and hospitals and dialysis centers.

Brown said in the statement that those providers may bill for services only if there is a documented medical need. He said Kimble disregarded medical necessity requirements and billed Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance services provided to patients for whom it was not medically necessary.

In addition to serving 30 months in federal prison, Kimble must pay $751,986.60 in restitution.