Miami Businessman Accused in Medicare Fraud Money Laundering Racket with Cuba By Tod Aronovitz | 05/29/14 | 0 Comment

In the first-known Medicare fraud money laundering racket between the United States and Cuba, Miami businessman Eduardo Perez de Morales was recently arrested on Medicare fraud charges.

According to an article in the May 22 Miami Herald, the 26-year old has been singled out as the alleged “bagman” in a scheme which involved Perez conspiring with his fugitive brother to launder $238 million in stolen Medicare funds through the brother’s now defunct offshore remittance company.

Wanted by the FBI, the brother—Jorge Emilio Perez de Morales Sante—is believed to be in Cuba. His company, Caribbean Transfers, has been accused of supplying clean cash to healthcare scammers in Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and New York.

The alleged $238 million in stolen Medicare funds is eight times more than what was initially claimed in the 2012 indictment against the brother.

Prosecutors also suspect that the brother’s network was more extensive, saying that Caribbean Transfers supposedly funded a Florida check-cashing company and other remittance agencies which cashed checks or wired money for the Medicare fraud masterminds, and then transferred the dirty money through Canada to Cuba.

Perez, who is being held at the Broward County jail in Fort Lauderdale, has pleaded not guilty. He is in the midst of plans for his wedding, which is to take place in July at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Federal Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow denied his release, ruling that, “In light of [his] access to hundreds of millions of dollars, his ties to Cuba and other countries, his brother’s presumed location outside the United States, and the substantial sentence he faces, [he] must be deemed to be a flight risk.”

Perez’s defense attorney criticized the prosecution’s supposed evidence presented at the bond hearing, and is trying to get the judge to reconsider saying that she didn’t fully take into account Perez’s upcoming nuptials in her decision.

The judge’s reference to Cuba was telling, however. In the past decade, dozens of defendants have fled to Cuba and other Latin American countries to avoid prosecution in Medicare fraud cases.

The prosecution’s original criminal case involved the Naples check-cashing business of Oscar L. Sanchez. Allegedly, $70 million in corrupt Medicare profits were laundered by 70 healthcare operators through his business. Sanchez pleaded guilty and is doing a 4 ½-year stint in prison.

Prosecutors figure that about half of that amount was transferred through Canada into Cuba and consider Caribbean Transfers as an offshore “Western Union.” Though the company is no longer in business, it still has an active blog. On the blog, it has claimed that it did nothing wrong and has discredited the stories published in the Miami Herald.

How to Report Miami Medicare Fraud

Healthcare professionals or medical billing employees who have knowledge of questionable Medicare billing practices can file a confidential legal claim under the False Claims Act. By acting as a “whistleblower” in what is known as a “qui tam” lawsuit, a private party may collect between 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered, depending on how the case is prosecuted.

ARONOVITZ LAW: Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam Law Firm

The Miami Qui Tam law firm of ARONOVITZ LAW routinely works with whistleblowers to document Medicare fraud and other forms of fraud against the government. Contact Miami Whistleblower / Qui Tam lawyer Tod Aronovitz to discuss your case.