It’s no secret that people take advantage of mechanized scooters. Walmart has an entire fleet on hand for shoppers who might not be fit to walk around the store, and last year a guy actually got a DUI on one after he took it out of the store toward the parking lot and kept going.
But it’s not just out in the world while drunk that the scooters pose a problem. The Feds suspect that The Scooter Store, the biggest purveyor of motorized scooters, has a racket going whereby they convince doctors to “prescribe” scooters to people who don’t really need them. Medicare or Medicaid then pays the bill—so the “patient” gets a free scooter and The Scooter Store gets a sale.
God knows what the doctor gets. But the US taxpayer ultimately ends up footing the cost, and the FBI estimates that The Scooter Store has charged at least $100 million for people who don’t really need scooters over the last three years alone.
The Atlantic Wire reports that FBI agents swooped in to Scooter Store headquarters in New Braunfels, Texas for a bust—search warrant in hand—and that its 1,200 employees were escorted from the building and not allowed back in today.
The FBI alleges that The Scooter Store has an entire department dedicated to getting people cleared for scooters who have been deemed ineligible by Medicare or Medicaid due to their fancy walking skills.
Of course, The Scooter Store does legitimate business as well—many older and disabled people need and greatly benefit from their scooters. But we’ve all seen those people riding around who you just know are totally fine.
The FBI has seen them too, and it’s damn sick of it. Watch out, scooter frauds.
[Actual Scooter Store employees above. Possible scooter frauds below.]