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Man charged with Medicare fraud

BRUNSWICK, GA (WTOC) - A Brunswick man was charged Wednesday with Medicare fraud.

Cecil Risher, 36, was charged with attempting to steal more than $100,000 from Medicare through two medical equipment suppliers in Brunswick, Ga., and Houston. 

Risher was arrested Wednesday by federal authorities. Risher operated Preferred Prosthetics and Orthotics, which routinely billed Medicare for medical devices that were never provided to patients, weren't medically necessary or not prescribed by a physician, according to a criminal complaint.

Before going to Preferred, Risher worked at Team Orthotics & Prosthetics Inc. in Houston. At both Preferred Prosthetics and Orthotics and Team Orthotics & Prosthetics Inc., Risher was primarily responsible billing Medicare for medical equipment purportedly provided to patients.  

The criminal complaint alleges that Risher and his coconspirators carried out the scheme by stealing the identifying information of both Medicare patients and doctors, and using that information to submit more than $100,000 worth of phony claims to Medicare. 

Risher was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000; one count of health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment; and one count of aggravated identity theft, which requires a two-year consecutive prison sentence to any other sentence imposed.

His first court appearance is set for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Brunswick Federal Courthouse.

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