Frank A. Rubino , ESQ.

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Florida Medicare fraud case involves Cuban migrant

Because of the extensive Florida coastline, financial crimes in the state often involve suspects fleeing authorities by sea. This was reportedly the case recently, as a migrant from Cuba was arrested while at sea by authorities who had pursued him in regards to multiple charges against him in a recent indictment. The charges include money laundering and Medicare fraud.

According to federal prosecutors, the man was arrested as he sailed from Cuba to Florida. At the time, on Jan. 6 of this year, he was on a boat that was transporting a number of Cubans who were immigrating to Key West. Reports say he had originally absconded back in July 2009 and that investigators had been looking into his activities for some time.

Those activities allegedly included having $3.1 million worth of false claims submitted through the Complete Medical Center, which is based in Miami. The claims were primarily for durable medical equipment. However, that equipment was neither prescribed by doctors nor provided to any Medicare beneficiaries. That meant that the claims had no legitimate basis.

Even so, Medicare paid $1.4 million of the false claims. Those aware of the case speculated that the money would be spent in Cuba, where it would go far. Yet, the man at the center of the case seemed to want to be in the United States, which led to his arrest as he approached Florida.

In this case, authorities have been gathering evidence against the man for a long time. Others accused of Medicare fraud in unrelated cases may be uncertain of how to deal with any charges against them. For that reason, those individuals may want to speak with an attorney with experience in this field of law.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Cuban migrant arrested at sea for Medicare fraud, money laundering" Brian Bandell, Feb. 04, 2014

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