NEW BRAUNFELS, TX -- The Scooter Store, the largest employer in New Braunfels, is now the target of a Department of Justice investigation into possible Medicare fraud.
Around 150 agents, including members of the FBI, raided the corporate headquarters Wednesday morning and told hundreds of employees to go home.
Sources tell News 4, as with any raid, agents are searching the offices for records or evidence of a crime. Our sources say there is no time limit on that search and agents
have to be very careful with what they say to employees and the media before they've had a chance to sift through a company's records.
Even with uniformed agents going in and out of the building, customers are still showing up to the Scooter Store's headquarters.
"To see about purchasing a scooter for my husband, who is handicapped," customer Theresa Galasso says.
She says she was caught off guard by what agents told her.
"We found out there was an investigation, so we're leaving," Galasso says.
Timothy Menke with the federal Office of Inspector General, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says agencies investigating the Scooter Store
include the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
"We are executing a search warrant on the entire site," Menke says. "Most of the employees have left. There are still a few still inside the store."
One employee told News 4 that around 8:45 a.m., agents asked employees inside Building 2 to go home. That employee says about 500 people work there in the I.T. and billing
departments, and the building houses the data center with all the company servers.
"They were given a general number for the FBI to contact if they have any information they want to pass onto the FBI," Menke says.
Another employee says coworkers are waiting by the phone to find out when they can come back to work. In the meantime, that employee says they don't know if they have jobs,
when they'll get paid, and aren't even sure what agents are looking for inside the headquarters.
This is not the first time the Scooter Store's been the target of a federal investigation. Government auditors found in the past three years, the Scooter Store over-billed Medicare by at least $100 million.
The company announced layoffs of 220 employees in September 2012 and 150 workers in February 2013. The most recent round of layoffs included 100 employees at the New Braunfels corporate headquarters.