Target Believed To Be Billing Office
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations appeared at a
West Plains, MO air ambulance provider Wednesday armed with a stack
of warrants. They sent a number of startled Air Evac employees home
with instructions not to return until Thursday.
According to KYTV-3 in Springfield, there were nearly 50 FBI
agents in West Plains but neither the FBI nor the US Attorney's
office would comment as to the reason. The Air Evac office involved
is believed to be company's billing office.
The FBI did say it investigates things like billing problems,
billing irregularities and fraud in government contracts and
programs. But no official would specify why the search warrant was
served on Air Evac.
"It's obvious we're in town; we are confirming that we're doing
a search warrant," said Monte Strait, an FBI special
The company said in a news release that the search was tied to
"an inquiry concerning billing and health care compliance related
matters" and "it cooperated fully with the FBI," according to the
West Plains Mayor Joe Evans said he was "shocked" by the raid.
Air Evac Lifeteam provides more than 400 jobs in West Plains, the
"The FBI hasn't really told us what's going on, but I hope
everything is OK," Evans said, calling the company "an important
part of our community."
There are people in West Plains that believe they know why and
are speaking about it openly, but no official source would confirm
or deny anything, according to the television station.
All Air Evac helicopters, which provide air ambulance services
to 10 states, are still operating, according to the company. The
FBI incident has not disrupted service.