Medicare Fraud in the US: The Castro Connection

Medicare fraud is rampant in the U.S., and by far South Florida holds the dubious distinction of leading the nation in that area. And in my opinion, it is no coincidence that an inordinate amount of Cuban American medicare fraud fugitives have found refuge in Castro’s Cuba. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire, and when your nose encounters putrid odor, it usually emanates from a source known to stink.

For all intents and purposes, the Castro regime operates as an international crime syndicate, and the premise that it is intricately involved in the defrauding of the U.S. Medicare system to the tune of tens of millions of dollars is neither farfetched nor beyond the realm of a real possibility. The Castro brothers are well known for their organized crime activities such as extortion, theft, kidnapping, as well as other crimes; adding Medicare fraud to their criminal resume is not at all implausible.

The Miami Herald has a report on the possible connections between Medicare fraud in the U.S. and the Castro regime:

Medicare crooks find safe haven in Cuba

South Florida is known as the capital of Medicare fraud, but increasingly Cuba is where the scammers go to avoid prosecution.

As Medicare crime spreads across South Florida, accused scammers are escaping in droves to Cuba and other Latin American countries to avoid prosecution — with more than 150 fugitives now wanted for stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the U.S. healthcare program, according to the FBI and court records.

The tally of fugitives charged with healthcare fraud here has tripled since 2008, when The Miami Herald first reported on the phenomenon of Cuban immigrants joining the Medicare rackets and fleeing to evade trial in Miami.

But during the past three years, the FBI has captured only 16 fugitives, reflecting the difficulty in catching Spanish-speaking suspects who head south to hide out. Most of the fugitives were born in Cuba, immigrated to South Florida after 1990 and can easily live under the radar in Latin America with hundreds of thousands or millions in taxpayer dollars fleeced from Medicare.

Even if fugitives can be located in Cuba, there’s no way to get them back because of the political realities at play.

“They go to Cuba so they can’t be caught,’’ said Rolando Betancourt, a longtime Miami bail bondsman who has tracked one Medicare fugitive to Havana. “You can find anybody in Cuba; you just can’t arrest them.’’


Cuba watchers, legal experts and others who have witnessed South Florida’s ascendance as the nation’s Medicare fraud capital say the Cuban government’s involvement would not be that far fetched — though they have no proof to back it up.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if one day that is proven to be a fact,” said Miami attorney Sam Rabin. One of his clients, Eduardo Moreno, fled to Cuba after posting a $450,000 bond in 2007 on healthcare fraud charges. He had collected $2 million from Medicare on bogus claims for medical equipment and HIV services.

“I think it would be very hard for someone with millions in currency to stay under the radar in Cuba” without that government’s protection, Rabin added.

Read the Herald’s Jay Weaver’s entire report HERE.