Four charged in Medicaid fraud case, officials say there could be victims across the CSRA

Published: Jul. 20, 2019 at 5:33 PM EDT
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Saturday, July 20, 2019

UPDATE: 10:46 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Four people are charged for Medicaid fraud after an investigation, according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office.

Reuben Rice, 31, and Mark Speigner, 65, who are both from Houston, Texas, are charged with first-degree felony forgery and felony criminal attempt, conspiracy and solicitation to defraud Medicaid.

Thomas Alwell, 36, of Augusta faces the same charges, and 22-year-old Emery Eubanks is behind bars on criminal attempt, conspiracy and solicitation.

Investigators with CAVE, the Burke County Sheriff's Office and the Waynesboro Police Department worked to gather information on Sunday in order to make charges.

On Saturday, the Burke County Sheriff's Office teamed up with the Richmond County Marshall's Office and Sheriff's Office to locate the three suspects at an Augusta hotel. Deputies say they arrested one more person in Richmond County on Sunday.

Waynesboro Police say the scam had been on their radar for a couple of weeks.

"We made contact with a supervisor that voluntarily came in," said Investigator Mark Gatlin, Waynesboro Police. "We talked to him and realized this investigation was actually a little bigger than we thought it was."

That's when the Burke County Sheriff's Office and the DA's CAVE Unit got involved. Calls kept coming in to the sheriff's office on Sunday.

"We've already had at least a dozen already," said Sgt. George Meyers, an investigator with the Burke County Sheriff's Office. "I've just got the information from our dispatch, that have come forward and said that they've knocked on their doors and did give their information or tried to get their information."

Investigators say the scammers are often dressed in medical scrubs when going door to door. They pose as a medical testing company that's doing a mouth swab genetic test.

"Asking for the Medicare or Medicaid cards and identities, and then transferring that information on to an app," Gatlin said.

The scammers are harvesting the data, investigators say.

Deputies say they are targeting low-income areas and the elderly--which is why the CAVE unit stepped in.

"This is something we will take very, very seriously," Sgt. Meyers said. "Please either call a family member, call us. Don't give out any personal information, even if they seem legit."

Deputies say their may be victims across the CSRA.

"This is going to be something that's quite large, and we need to get these individuals off the street," Gatlin said.

Investigators tell News 12 that they would not be surprised if more arrests are made.

Investigators say to never give out your personal medical information to anyone aside from your doctor.

If you were approached recently or have any information, call the sheriff's office.

CAVE investigators say they will continue to meet with various state and federal agencies on Monday.

--5:00 p.m.--

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Burke County Officials say four people are in custody after going door to door seeking Medicare information and offering free medical services to people in a scam.

Officials believe there may be victims in numerous counties around the CSRA. They also believe there may still be other individuals involved in the scam.

The Waynesboro Police Department and Burke County Sheriff’s Office are working with the District Attorney’s CAVE Task Force (Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly). A Medicare investigator is also looking into the incident.

The investigation is ongoing. There will be a Medicare investigator and CAVE Task Force Lead investigator working in conjunction with the Waynesboro Police Department on Sunday.

Officials say anyone who has been approached by someone offering free medical services, free DNA swabs for the elderly or seeking your personal information and/or Medicare information should contact the police.

You can report it to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Division at 706-554-2133, your local law enforcement, and/or Investigator Loomer of the District Attorney’s Office at 706-821-1150.

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