Lawsuit alleges EMSA, company president accepted millions in kickbacks, bribes

Posted at 8:48 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-24 06:00:57-05

TULSA, Okla. -- EMSA has been named in a federal lawsuit after allegedly accepting $20 million in kickbacks and bribes.

The complaint alleges that ETMC and Paramedics Plus entered into an illegal kickback scheme to obtain and retain public ambulance services contract awarded by EMSA and its President, Herbert Stephen Williamson.

ETMC is one of east Texas' largest healthcare systems and provides ambulance services outside of Texas through its for-profit subsidiary, Paramedics Plus.

The lawsuit alleges that kickbacks and bribes ranged from cash payments, political contributions, marketing expenses and direct payments to EMSA contractors between 1998 and 2013.

EMSA released the below statement following the filing of the lawsuit:

"This case is in no way related to the high quality of care that the EMSA system provides to all patients. EMSA makes every effort to adhere to applicable rules, regulations, and laws. EMSA has entered a reputation of providing Oklahomans with excellent ambulance service and looks forward to continuing our mission long after the issue is resolved."

The City of Tulsa also released a statement following the lawsuit.

"The City has been assured that the delivery and quality of EMSA’s ambulance and medical services will not be affected or disrupted by today's announcement. EMSA is an independent public trust and, as such, is an entity entirely separate from and not controlled by the City. It operates for the benefit of both the City of Tulsa and Oklahoma City as the beneficiaries of that trust. Obviously, the City intends to monitor future developments in this civil lawsuit and will respond if necessary and appropriate. The City intends to cooperate in any way necessary with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas that filed the civil lawsuit. As a beneficiary of EMSA, the City expects that EMSA will cooperate as well to resolve the matter."

Click here to read the full lawsuit.

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