A South Florida man awaiting trial for allegedly submitting more than $4 million in fraudulent health-care claims was detained on a jet ski as he tried to escape to Cuba, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
U.S. Coast Guard officers found the man on a broken-down jet ski in the Florida Keys along. Another man known to law enforcement for smuggling illegal aliens was aboard the jet ski along with him.
“The jet ski was outfitted with a special fuel cell to allow for long trips, and within the compartments of the jet ski, law enforcement discovered a trove of food and water bottles,” officials said.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint, the man owned a Florida corporation which purported to provide durable medical equipment (“DME”) to eligible Medicare beneficiaries. The complaint alleges that the man, in only a two-month period in 2022, submitted approximately $4.2 million in fraudulent health care claims to Medicare for DME that he never provided, and that Medicare beneficiaries never requested. As a result, Medicare paid the man over $2.1 million.
A judge agreed with prosecutors that the man posed a flight risk and should not be given a bond. Officers also confiscated his passport. He will remain at the Federal Detention Center in Miami until his trial.