A Berkeley County nurse practitioner faces a slew of charges in Georgia for her alleged role in a Medicaid fraud scheme that authorities described as "an organized web of abuse" of elderly and disabled adults.
Cynthia Riley, 51, is charged in a 17-count indictment announced Tuesday by the Georgia Attorney General's Office. She was arrested Thursday and remained in the Berkeley County jail as of Tuesday night. Address records indicate she lives in Moncks Corner.
Riley and two co-defendants — Michelle Oliver, 39, and Harold Hunt, 56 — are charged with racketeering, neglect of a disabled adult or elderly person, and exploitation.
Riley had worked at the Berkeley Community Mental Health Center on a contractual basis from October 2016 until her arrest Thursday, according to Tracy LaPointe, spokeswoman for the S.C. Department of Mental Health. LaPointe said DMH ran a licensing and background check before contracting with Riley, who does not have a prior criminal history in South Carolina.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said Riley allegedly gave psychotropic medications and other prescriptions to patients transported to her by Oliver, who is accused of running an unlicensed personal care home called Miracle One Care Center in Albany, Georgia.
"The residents reported they did not receive any other psychological or medical care," a news release from Carr's office said.
Authorities have also accused Riley of providing Oliver and Hunt with medical forms to sign the care center's residents up for government benefits. Oliver and Hunt allegedly pocketed the funds.
Carr said Hunt acted as the social security payee, in which he helped residents obtain Social Security benefits but sent the money to Oliver and kept some for himself.
Authorities launched a multi-agency investigation into the trio after residents reported that people living in Oliver's apartments were "begging for food."