The East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System unveiled
today two new emergency transport helicopters, valued at over $9 million,
to provide patients in East Texas with critical, fast access to the
region’s only level 1 trauma center at ETMC Tyler.
The Eurocopter, EC135 P2+ helicopters will be stationed at ETMC
Tyler and Titus Regional Medical Center in Mount Pleasant. The EC135
that currently is stationed in Tyler is being upgraded and will be positioned
at ETMC Athens. This allows ETMC to provide high quality care
and rapid transport to residents within a 150-mile radius around each
helicopter base, covering 38 counties in East Texas.
“Since 1985, ETMC Air 1 has been flying the skies of East Texas and
saving thousands of lives,” said Art Chance, vice president of operations
Syam profited through this scheme by having the Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) deposit about half of this sum
into its own bank account, while the remaining, partial
amount went to the victim.
There is actually no such thing as a federal stimulus
benefit payment program for low-income Social Security
recipients. This means that the IRS would hold the victim
(not Syam) accountable for repaying the whole amount,
penalties and interest. This is when the victims first became
aware of having been cheated because Syam never
informed them that it was either filing a tax return for
them or retaining part of the resultant refund. This means
that the low-income families scammed by Syam cannot repay
the amount for which the IRS now holds them responsible.
Because Syam now possesses its victims’ personal
information there is the threat of additional identity theft.
Investigators suspect Syam filed literally hundreds of
bogus tax returns, and may use the stolen information for
years in order to file more claims. The attorney general’s
office successfully sought a temporary injunction and
asset freeze in hopes of ceasing Syam’s dishonest activities.
The firm is being charged with multiple violations of
the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and of the Texas
Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act.
Abbott has already charged Syam and two of its officers,
Shannon Mays and Marshrief Shead, with fraudulently acquiring
sensitive personal information and with filing falsified
federal income tax returns on their victims’ behalf.
Judge Michael Gomez of the 129th District Court in Harris
County has frozen Syam’s assets and issued a temporary
restraining order against all the named defendants.
“Targeting senior centers and churches, Syam Tax Services
launched an apparently well-orchestrated scheme
to defraud the elderly, and even worse, those who rely on
federal benefits for their well-being,” said Abbott. “My office
is working to put a stop to this despicable fraud, and
thanks to the court order we obtained, Syam is prohibited
from continuing to violate the law. We first informed Texans
of this scam in December, and are now moving swiftly
to shut down Syam’s deceptive operation and prevent
other seniors from becoming victims of this scam.”