Man Sentenced in Companion Fraud Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 26, 2010|
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Garry Lewis Walker, age 48, of Paterson, New Jersey, was sentenced Monday in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr., of Columbia, sentenced Walker to 30 months in prison and also ordered him to pay $123,396.33, which was his share of approximately $480,000 in total fraud committed.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that employees of Companion Property and Casualty Insurance (CPCI), a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) in Columbia, South Carolina, changed federal tax identification numbers of legitimate BCBS health care providers to individuals who were not health care providers. These individuals, including Walker, who did not work for BCBS, would receive workers’ compensation checks in the mail, cash the checks at banks using bogus accounts they established, and then distribute the proceeds among the seven charged participants. All of the co-conspirators obtained approximately $487,346.98 through this scheme as a result of 116 fraudulent checks being cashed. The other five co-conspirators have been sentenced previously.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Winston D. Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office handled the case.