Friday, August 2, 2019
Daniel Abshari was arrested during a traffic stop on Tuesday, according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office. (Source: Burke County Sheriff's Office)
AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Bond was denied for the man accused of being the leader of an alleged Medicaid scam in the CSRA.
The judge said Daniel Abshari, 33, was a “flight risk, a threat to witnesses and a threat to the community" in his statement from the bench Friday morning.
Abshari is charged with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of firearm during the commission of a crime, misdemeanor marijuana, and felony fraud against Medicaid. More charges could be forthcoming.
Amanda Pennington, assistant district attorney and a specially trained prosecutor with the CAVE task force, outlined the information they had about Abshari and their case against him.
"He has a criminal history all across the United States. This scam is all across the United States," Pennington said.
Pennington said Abshari has an ownership role in Base Medical Company, the group named as spearheading the alleged scam.
Investigators searched the company's listed headquarters and found fake IDs, rapid pay employee documents, shipping labels, genetic testing ID cards, and a list of employees, prosecutors say.
Officials used that employee list to speak to 10 current or former employees who many of them said feared for their safety. One employee, prosecutors said, threatened to speak to police about the business, but he said he has people who would "take care of her." Prosecutors are also alleging blackmail.
Investigators say the alleged 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, and then they ask for Medicaid or Medicare cards. Officials also say it is unclear if the swabs are being processed.
The scam is also said to be still ongoing, according to prosecutors.
"We can login and see in real time that they're still collecting swabs and information. There's an entry from yesterday," Pennington said.
Investigators believe there are hundreds of victims locally.
The prosecutor also revealed new details about Abshari's personal life, saying he repeatedly abused drugs in the office, attempted to get employees to sleep with him, and visited strip clubs in Atlanta.
They also painted Abshari as a man who would carry bags of firearms in and out of his office, and also called his wife to tell her where to strategically place guns inside their home if the police came.
Investigators say Base Medical Company has been operating in the Augusta area for four months and estimates there are hundreds of victims across the CSRA.
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