Arrested a Cuban-American who was trying to reach the Island after defrauding more than 4 million Medicare

Arrested a Cuban-American who was trying to reach the Island after defrauding more than 4 million Medicare

(EFE).- A man born in Cuba and resident in Hialeah (Florida) was arrested in the Keys when he tried to reach Cuba on a jet ski after allegedly swindling more than 4 million dollars from the public health system (Medicare), The Southern District Prosecutor’s Office reported this Tuesday.

The arrestee is Ernesto Cruz Graverán, 54, the owner of Xiko Enterprises, a Florida company that allegedly supplied durable medical equipment (DME) to eligible Medicare beneficiaries.

According to the indictment, Xiko, in a single two-month period in 2022, submitted “fraudulent claims” to Medicare for some $4.2 million in DME health care that was “never provided” or required by any beneficiary in the system. of public health.

As a result, Medicare “paid Xiko more than 2.1 million dollars,” the Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

“None of those 145 beneficiaries were in fact patients of that doctor, and that doctor never prescribed any of the billed DME”

For example, according to claims Xiko submitted to Medicare, a doctor allegedly prescribed Xiko’s DME for approximately 145 Medicare beneficiaries, and Xiko billed Medicare for more than $1 million for DME referred by this doctor.

But, according to the lawsuit, “none of those 145 beneficiaries were in fact patients of that doctor, and that doctor never prescribed any of the billed DME.”

US Coast Guard troops and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents located Graverán aboard a damaged jet ski in waters south of Key West, heading toward Cuba.

In the intercepted jet ski and equipped with a compartment with extra fuel for long trips, in addition to water and food, another individual was traveling with Graverán who “law enforcement knew was a people smuggler.”

Graverán remains being held without bail at the Miami Federal Detention Center awaiting trial.

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