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FBI raids Rio Home Care in Alamo; company's president is ex-Killer Bees owner

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Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 4:54 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

ALAMO — FBI agents raided a home healthcare agency Tuesday morning, but would not provide specific details about the nature of their search.

Agents were seen at Rio Home Care, 1003 Expressway 83, shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday, where television footage showed them removing computers and other materials from the home healthcare business.

FBI spokesman Erik Vasys confirmed agents executed a search warrant at the business, but would not provide further details because of the pending investigation.

No unsealed criminal complaints, warrants or other court documents detailing the company or its president, Richard Troy Nelson, had been filed in U.S. District Court in McAllen on Tuesday.

Nelson declined to comment, referring questions to Van Hilley, his San Antonio-based attorney. Hilley did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Such searches at home healthcare companies typically involve healthcare fraud investigations involving Medicaid and Medicare, the federal insurance programs that provide coverage to low-income and elderly residents.

Several other local home healthcare companies have faced federal scrutiny for insurance scams that bilked millions in extra reimbursement cash from the federal government.

The case could lead to charges against employees at Rio Home Care, including Nelson, the embattled former owner of the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees hockey team.

Nelson lost his stake in the Killer Bees in a settlement with the group that sold the team to him in 2006. Nelson had failed to repay $2.1 million to the former owners.

That group, led by local businessman Joe Sakulenzki, regained control of the club over the summer.

Lost with Nelson’s stake in the Bees was the marketing for Rio Home Care, which featured its logo beneath the ice on the rink at State Farm Arena. Beyond the company’s prominent advertising at the arena, Rio Home Care once featured a series of television ads with buxom young employees who touted the benefits of working for the company.

Records filed with the Texas Secretary of State show Nelson’s business interests stretch beyond Rio Home Care Inc.

He is listed as the registered agent of Alamo-based Rio Healthcare Inc., Rio Primary Care LLC and Texmed Home Health Inc., all of which share the same Alamo address as Rio Home Care. Nelson, of Weslaco, also is listed as the president of Primo Sports Inc., a company based in the city.

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Jared Taylor covers courts and general assignments for The Monitor. He can be reached at jtaylor@themonitor.com and (956) 683-4439.

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