Earlier this week, federal authorities announced a 23-count criminal case against a high-profile Miami businessman. The suit claims that the businessman and his accountant lied to investors and used their funds to finance a luxurious lifestyle.
In another example of the high stakes involved in federal criminal prosecutions, the U.S. Attorney for South Florida filed charges against a well-regarded and high-profile Miami businessman this week. Authorities allege that the businessman took more than $40 million from investors by deceiving them about his company, spending much of it on a lavish lifestyle.
Law enforcement officers arrested six Miami-area residents this week after 49 Aventura police officers and several other city employees reported identity theft-related tax fraud. This arrest shows that authorities in Florida and around the country are increasingly focused on tax return fraud.
Miami and South Florida remain a central focus area in the FBI's war against healthcare fraud. A new press release from the FBI explains how it has relied on well-funded multi-office task forces to investigate and prosecute defendants here in Miami. That approach is working so well here that the authorities are expanding around the nation with similar teams.
Undercover federal agents arrested two people in a Miami hotel over the summer after the couple tried to sell a stolen Matisse painting. The painting, originally from a Venezuelan museum, is estimated to be worth $3 million. Last week, the couple pleaded guilty in a Miami federal court, admitting to conspiracy charges.
In a case that provides a good example of how far government agents can go before committing entrapment, a Miami police officer and firefighter received guilty verdicts in a cocaine trafficking case last week. The case took place in Miami federal court and could result in life sentences.
As another indicator of the government's aggressive focus on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, federal investigators seized 92 people across the country. The defendants, including 34 people from Miami, will face federal fraud charges. Overall, the government says that these cases represent $432 million in fraud.
A new federal report points to South Florida as a hotspot of healthcare fraud. This report coincides with last week's jury verdict against the operators of a Miami mental health center. Both of these developments are examples of how prosecutors are increasingly focused on healthcare fraud cases in South Florida.
One would not usually connect Valentine's Day with drug trafficking enforcement. However, the Valentine's Day season triggers an increase in the use of one drug enforcement method, shipment searches.
Federal authorities use a variety of tools in their health care fraud enforcement. For instance, law enforcement will sometimes use tips from the public when investigating or pursuing an individual suspected of fraud crimes. Last Thursday, the federal government released a list that they hope will encourage tips in connection to certain health care fraud cases.