Federal law enforcement officials have now added the name of a South Florida man to their roster of most wanted fugitives. According to investigators, the Miami resident owned a pharmacy that he used in the furtherance of a criminal enterprise. Last year, authorities indicted the man on charges of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Federal health officials say the defendant used his pharmacy to issue bogus prescriptions for drugs that were not needed. According to the indictment, the defendant and his co-conspirators paid people to obtain prescriptions for medications under false pretenses. Authorities say that some of those prescriptions were valued in excess of $1000 each.

Investigators say that once the defendant and his co-conspirators obtained the prescriptions, they then used them to bill Medicare part D to the tune of roughly $2.8 million. The government also alleges that the defendant may be currently hiding in Cuba.

Criminal defendants who are summoned to a federal grand jury sometimes think that they don’t need an attorney with them during those proceedings because they haven’t yet been arrested. In many so-called white collar crime cases, government prosecutors may take years compiling evidence and other testimony before convening a grand jury. That is why it is crucial at that stage to have competent representation at that critical stage. For example, a defendant charged with Medicare fraud may no longer have access to documents that might enable them to refute the government’s allegations. By knowing which documents to obtain, a well-represented defendant might offer a better challenge to the evidence presented against them.

Additionally, sometimes the prosecution’s evidence is so compelling that it might be wise to seek favorable plea bargain settlement. In those circumstances, a defendant could possibly plead to a lesser charge in order to avoid prison. Although each case is different and no outcome can be guaranteed, the defendant would be wise to consider multiple alternatives.

Source: Source: CBS 4 Miami, “Miami Man Added To List of Most Wanted Fugitives,” No author given, July 6, 2014

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