BRANCHVILLE — There is one new detail (with several others to come to public later) in regards to one of the three women who assassinated Branchville Fire Chief Alan Oakley in a domestic violence gang slaying on December 28, 2013.
That detail is in regards to the widow who stood to gain financially from a dead hubby, Melody Oakley (pictured individually).
Turns out, Mrs. Oakley was sentenced to three years probation on November 14, just 44 days before she and two other women — Ann Anderson, 47, and Carrie Brown, 25, both of Orangeburg — decided to assassinate her husband. The probation sentence was in regards to a guilty plea Mrs. Oakley copped from federal prosecutor Strom Thurmond Junior, the son of the late Sen. Strom, to charges she made statements in a health care scheme the government says was aimed at bilking Medicare while she was with Williston Rescue Squad.
She and Jessica Kight, a co-worker, were each sentenced to a $25 special assessment fee and he, like her, was sentenced to probation for three years. Authorities have ruled out men as participants in Mr. Oakley’s death, and Ms. Kight is not considered a suspect, either.
While with WRS, Mrs. Oakley served as transport supervisor.
In February 2013, WRS was hit with federal sanctions of its own related to the Medicare fraud. US Attorney Bill Nettles, who prosecuted WRS, won an $800,000.00 judgment against Williston Rescue. The ambulance company agreed to pay the punishment in a five-year period — without admitting any guilt.
“Medicare fraud is stealing, and it is crippling America’s health care system,” said Nettles in a prepared statement at the time. “We have doubled the number of attorneys working these cases in South Carolina.”
The accusations came to light when a whistleblower informed federal investigators of the possible fraud. Per provisions in the False Claims Act, the anonymous woman will receive 20% of the total fine.
But then, federal prosecutors went after Mrs. Oakley and Ms. Kight, who was the billing supervisor. Both women resigned from the company in December 2011.
According to the indictments, the two ex-employees were double-dipping on transportation billing in clear violation of the False Claims Act.
Federal authorities said that during 2011, Mrs. Oakley scheduled multiple patients for transport to and from dialysis, including at Southern Palmetto Hospital (then known as Barnwell County Hospital) and US Renal Care on MARLBORO AV at the same time. The bill would be made out to appear as if separate trips had been made for separate patients, said prosecutors.
Part of Mrs. Oakley’s three-year probation called for drug testing and a ban on weapons, including firearms and any other dangerous weapon, the sentencing sheet indicates.
That means that the knife used by the trio of women to slay Mr. Oakley violates the tenets of Mrs. Oakley’s probation.
Washington, D.C. has an eye out on this development because if Mrs. Oakley is found guilty of any of the charges against her, and a possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime charge could be filed against her and her two women accomplices, then the FBI will charge Mrs. Oakley with violation of probation.
Mrs. Oakley, Ms. Anderson and Ms. Brown were all denied bond on the murder charges in magistrate court. A circuit court will take up the bond issue next month.
[WIS News 10]
[WLTX News 19]
[The Times and Democrat]
UPDATE @ 13:33 Friday: The ex-co-worker has been identified by the (Barnwell) People-Sentinel as a woman named Jessica Kight. I regret the error of thinking that the ex-co-worker was a man. The part of the post about men being ruled out as participants in former Fire Chief Alan Oakley’s assassination stands as fact, however.