Frank A. Rubino, ESQ.

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Fugitive arrested in Florida Medicare fraud case

Florida continues to be a magnet for financial crimes, due in part to the massive amount of money that flows through the state every day. The crimes often involve taking advantage of ill or elderly individuals and laying claim to benefits from the government illegitimately. Sometimes those committing the crimes are rapidly identified and arrested. At other times, a fugitive may elude the authorities for some time, as happened recently with a man accused of masterminding a Medicare fraud ring in South Florida.

The man, 60, was arrested at the California-Mexico border crossing. He was taken into custody based on charges outlined in a 2009 indictment, which accuses him of having a role in a massive Medicare fraud scam. In addition to Miami, Florida, the scam was operated in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

In each of those areas, the man and his co-conspirators allegedly pretended to own phony HIV clinics. In fact, according to published reports, they were merely shell owners. The whole set up was put together in order to try to get $100 million from Medicare. The leader of the scam has already been convicted and is currently serving a sentence of 22 years.

This recent arrest is part of a larger effort by authorities to crack down on Cuban and Mexican immigrants who have fraudulently pursued funds through scams like this. The man just arrested is a Cuban immigrant. Authorities say that others with similar backgrounds have committed crimes and then fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution.

With this man in custody, the authorities will continue to look for others. Of course, everyone who is accused of Medicare fraud in Florida has the right to representation. It's important to not only understand the charges against you but also to know how best to approach your defense.

Source: Health News Florida, "FBI Nabs Medicare Fraud Fugitive" No author given, Feb. 25, 2014

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