Former employee speaks about Williston Rescue Squad scandal - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Former employee speaks about Williston Rescue Squad scandal

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Williston, SC (WFXG) -

Lauren Payne says while she was a paramedic for the Williston Rescue Squad, her manager told her to pick up people in an ambulance when there was no emergency.

"I remember a couple times we had to pick people up from Subway and take them home from their job," said Payne. 

She says she only did it twice but it didn't take her long to figure out how the Rescue Squad was cheating the health care system. 

"Just because they had Medicare they would call our boss and he would let them ride with us, charge the Medicare company and get paid for the ride," Payne, said.

According to the United States Department of Justice, the squad billed Medicare for the rides and filed false paperwork in order to meet the medical insurance standards.

Payne says she even signed off on the paperwork.

"Did you at any point think this isn't right, this doesn't seem right?" asked FOX54's Mark Barber. "Oh yeah, plenty of times, but if your boss is telling you to do something and your job is at stake you just kind of do it," said Payne.

The non-emergency ambulance rides stopped after a whistle blower came forward.

Department of Justice officials say the squad is now paying $800,000 back to the United States.

A social worker at a facility that some of the patients were brought to blew the whistle; she will receive $160,000 in the settlement.

"I was shocked, when we saw it on the news the other day I just told my husband it makes me feel bad how many times my name was put on something or I signed off on something," Payne, said.

Payne says she quit for unrelated reasons. She says three Rescue Squad employees were fired for their part in the scandal.

"It's embarrassing for the whole town, it really is," said Payne.

We reached out to the Williston Rescue Squad for comment; we expect to back from them on Monday. 

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