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Grand Jury Indicts Five In EMT Fraud

indicted

BOSTON - A Suffolk County Grand Jury has returned indictments against five emergency medical personnel, including two who were formerly employed by Lowell-based Trinity EMS at its Haverhill office, for their alleged roles in creating and submitting training records that falsely showed dozens of emergency personnel attended courses they were required to complete in order to maintain their certification, Attorney General Martha Coakley said Monday.

"We allege that the conduct of these individuals severely undermined the state's EMT certification process," Coakley said. "The certification process is designed to ensure that emergency medical personnel are properly trained and kept up-to-date with the constantly evolving medical skills necessary for emergency treatment. These acts posed a risk to public safety and public health and our office is continuing our probe into this matter."

Indicted were:

- Leo Nault, 50, of Concord, N.H. Authorities allege that Nault, a paramedic formerly at Trinity Ambulance in Haverhill, was the central operator of the alleged scheme. Nault sought and received approval from OEMS to teach more than a dozen "refresher" training courses during 2006-2009. Investigators allege that Nault rarely taught the course in full, and sometimes not at all. Authorities allege that Nault conspired with the other defendants to gather EMT signatures on the attendance rosters for the refresher courses, which he then submitted to OEMS falsely certifying more than 200 individuals whose names appeared on those attendance sheets, thus enabling them to qualify for recertification.

Nault is charged with Submitting False Documents to OEMS (16 counts) and Conspiracy to Commit OEMS Violations (3 counts).

- Victor Valdez, 66 of Malden. Valdez worked as an EMT and supervisor at Armstrong Ambulance in Arlington, Massachusetts. Authorities allege that he collected signatures on several of Nault's attendance rosters from multiple EMTs who worked with him, as well as from more than two dozen public safety employees who also participated in the scheme. Valdez allegedly then gave these rosters to Nault. Authorities also allege that Valdez also signed his own name as an attendee on one set of these rosters in order to receive recertification despite not having taken the required refresher course.

Valdez is charged with Aiding and Abetting the Making of False Statements in Documents Submitted to OEMS (5 counts), Violating an OEMS Requirement (1 Count), and Conspiracy to Commit OEMS Violations (2 counts).

- Tonia Schofield, 52, of Billerica. Schofield worked as a paramedic at Cataldo Ambulance, which is headquartered in Somerville. She allegedly collected multiple colleagues' signatures on Nault's attendance rosters so that they could receive refresher credit without attending the class. Investigators allege that Schofield also failed to take the required refresher course herself during the 2006-2007 period, but instead signed her name as an attendee on a set of Nault rosters.

Schofield is charged with Aiding and Abetting the Making of False Statements in Documents Submitted to OEMS (4 counts), Violating an OEMS Requirement, and Conspiracy to Commit OEMS Violations.

- Jeffrey Given, 41, of Haverhill. Given also worked as a paramedic at Trinity Ambulance in Haverhill and was also a Haverhill firefighter. Investigators allege that Given collected signatures from fellow firefighters on several of Nault's rosters. These "refresher" courses were either not taught by Nault, or taught but not attended by the firefighters. Authorities allege that Given also signed false rosters for his own benefit.

Given is charged with Aiding and Abetting the Making of False Statements in Documents Submitted to OEMS (4 counts), Violating an OEMS Requirement, and Conspiracy to Commit OEMS Violations.

- Telly Cordova, 37, of Brighton. Cordova is an EMT and a Boston firefighter. Investigators discovered that Cordova allegedly arranged for approximately two dozen fellow firefighters to get their names placed on Nault refresher attendance rosters without their having to attend the classes.

Cordova is charged with Violating /Aiding and Abetting Others to Violate OEMS Requirements, and Conspiracy to Commit OEMS Violations.



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