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Monday, March 11, 2013

We here at the Scooter Store would like everyone to know that even though 150 FBI agents raided our offices and we have laid off everyone in the company as of last Friday, that our company is NOT, and we repeat NOT part of any federal investigation


CEO: Scooter Store not target of probe



The Scooter Store's CEO told furloughed employees that it isn't a target of the Justice Department probe that led to some 150 agents swarming the company's New Braunfels headquarters last month.
“The Department of Justice has informed our legal counsel that the company is not a target of this investigation and we will continue to cooperate with the government in their work,” CEO Martin “Marty” Landon said in an email sent to employees Sunday night.
The Scooter Store is one of the nation's largest suppliers of power wheelchairs and scooters.
Landon didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. His email didn't say whether any individuals at the company are being investigated.
Erik Vasys, a special agent for the FBI, which participated in the Feb. 20 raid on The Scooter Store's New Braunfels headquarters, had no comment. He referred inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's office in San Antonio. Richard Durbin, first assistant U.S. attorney, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Federal agents carried out a search warrant over the course of two days, presumably as part of an investigation into Medicare and Medicaid fraud.
Late Friday, Landon notified staff that all employees, “with certain exceptions,” would be placed on furlough. He didn't specify just how long the unpaid leave could last.
As of last month, The Scooter Store had about 1,800 employees, including 1,200 headquarters staff.
A Scooter Store employee who was furloughed said there were about 50 or so cars in the company's parking lot this morning.
The company is operating with a “contingent of core personnel” and is focusing on “our current customers to ensure that operations are not unnecessarily disrupted,” Landon said in his email Sunday.
It couldn't be determined whether The Scooter Store is accepting new orders. A message on the company's toll free number at 1 p.m. Monday advised a caller to call back during regular business hours.
Landon said that last month's “search and seizure actions” have “only exacerbated” the company's challenges.
“Our access to capital has been declining rapidly since that time,” Landon wrote. “We are rapidly working to find a path forward.”
The Scooter Store has been grappling with changes in claims-processing procedures and reductions in reimbursement amounts that have been implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
CMS has been trying to crack down on fraud related to power-mobility devices. Starting July 1, Medicare will pay on average 36 percent less for power wheelchairs and scooters in more than 90 cities.
In his email, Landon said: “With the help of outside experts, we are conducting a review of our policies, practices, finances and resources to identify a viable path forward that can enable the company to recommit to its core mission — providing today's seniors and disabled persons with alternatives to living in nursing homes or other care facilities, and giving every elderly or disabled person American the ability to live their life safely and confidently at home.”

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