The owner of a medical equipment company based in Miami has been placed on the most wanted list of fugitives by the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general. The man is wanted in connection with a Medicare fraud scheme that may have racked up as much as $11 million in fraudulent bills to the government program. The man is currently in a Spanish detention facility facing drug charges. U.S. authorities are attempting to have him extradited in order to charge him for his Medicare related activities.

The company he ran purportedly supplied medical equipment such as motorized wheelchairs and pressure support ventilators. Federal investigators contend that the man submitted millions of dollars’ worth of bills to the Medicare program for equipment he never actually delivered to patients.

Health care fraud is a hot button issue and is receiving unprecedented attention from government officials and law enforcement personnel. The government is on a mission to crack down on fraudulent Medicare billing. If convicted, this man likely faces enormous fines and a lengthy stay in a federal prison. It is not clear if Spanish authorities will consider extraditing him back to the U.S. for him to face criminal charges.

Source: CBS Miami, “Miami Fugitive Wanted for Medicare Fraud,” 14 August 2012

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