FLORENCE — A Florence woman is in jail after reportedly threatening to accuse a doctor of Medicare fraud if he didn’t give her $10,000, authorities said.
Shelia Waldrep Perry, 55, 700 E. Tuscaloosa St., is charged with second-degree extortion, police said.
Florence police detective Sgt. Cliff Billingsley said Perry was arrested Thursday morning at her doctor’s office.
“She was after money, that was evident,” Billingsley said.
Police said Perry walked into the doctor’s office Tuesday and demanded he give her $10,000 or she would claim he was defrauding Medicare. Police said the doctor contacted police.
Police declined to release the doctor’s name.
“He didn’t give her the money and she called his office Wednesday,” Florence detective Jerry Pearson said. “The doctor was not in, but she asked a nurse if he left her an envelope with her money in it.”
Investigators said when Perry was told there wasn’t an envelope for her, she told nurses to tell the doctor she would be at his office at 10 a.m. Thursday to pick it up.
Pearson said nurses called police.
Perry arrived Thursday morning and voiced her demand again to the doctor. The doctor handed her an envelope with what police said she believed to be a $10,000 check inside.
Pearson and Billingsley were in the adjoining room, heard the conversation and they walked in and arrested her when she opened the envelope.
The detectives said Perry said she did not know why she was being arrested and claimed she did nothing wrong.
“Why she decided to walk in (to the doctor’s office) Tuesday and demanded money, no one other than her knows,” Pearson said.
Perry is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail of $1,000.
Second-degree extortion is a Class C felony and punishable by 1-10 years in prison if convicted.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.