Ernesto Cruz Graverán, de 54 años, es el propietario de Xiko Enterprises, una compañía de Florida que supuestamente suministraba equipos médicos duraderos (DME, en inglés) a beneficiarios elegibles del Medicare. Tarjeta de Medicare. Foto: aarp.org

Scammer arrested in the US who tried to escape to Cuba on a jet ski

A man living in Hialeah, a city in the county of Miami-Dadewhich supposedly ripped off more than four million dollars to the public health system (Medicare), was arrested near the Florida Keys when he tried to reach Cuba on a jet ski, according to the Southern District Prosecutor’s Office on 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 beneficiaries of the Medicare.

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

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

According to claims that the company Cruz Graverán submitted to Medicare, a physician allegedly prescribed Xiko’s DME for approximately 145 Medicare beneficiaries, and Xiko billed Medicare for more than $1 million for DME referred by this physician.

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 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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