Scooter Store headquarters raided; workers told to leave, call FBI

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by Dillon Collier & Kens5.com

khou.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 12:08 AM

NEW BRAUNFELS -- Federal and state agencies raided the Scooter Store's corporate headquarters on Wednesday morning to execute a search warrant. The investigation is part of an ongoing probe into possible Medicare fraud.

Agents from the FBI and the office of the Inspector General, as well as Texas state troopers and agents from Texas' Medicaid Fraud Unit entered the Scooter Store buildings in New Braunfels around 9 a.m.

Agents instructed IT and direct sales employees to gather their belongings and evacuate immediately. Employees working in billing and collections were kept for FBI questioning. 

As hundreds of workers filed out of the building, investigators handed out small white slips of paper with the phone number 1-800-CALL FBI.

On their way out, workers told KENS 5 that they are not suppose to talk to the media or discuss the raid on social media.

A second wave of agents, some carrying equipment marked FBI, entered the main building around 10:45 a.m.

The Scooter Store has long enticed patients to buy motorized wheelchairs by telling customers that the government would  pick up the bill. But last month, the company was ordered to pay the government almost $20 million for Medicare overpayments. The company also announced earlier this month that it had eliminated 150 positions at its headquarters and distributors nationwide.

"It's a roller coaster," said employee Ed Silvestry. "I pray to God everyone's okay and they find employment if this shuts down." 

The Scooter Store was the center of a CBS News report last month on possible Medicare fraud committed by power wheelchair companies. The report stated that Medicare fraud costs tax payers an estimated $60 billion a year.

WATCH: 

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