South Florida Scam Artist Fleeced Medicare For Millions & Laundered Money Into Cuban Banks; Ros-Lehtinen Will Work On Strengthening Her Medicare Fraud Legislation To Deter Medicare Funds From Flowing Into Coffers Of State Sponsors Of Terror

Press Release

By:  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Date: June 19, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

In light of a recent article in The Miami Herald, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) will work on strengthening her Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act by addressing the transfer of Medicare funds to a country that has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Federal prosecutors have charged a Miami man with engaging in a massive fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from Medicare. Oscar Sanchez is charged with funneling more than $31 million in Medicare funds into banks in Havana, the first such case that directly traces money taken from Medicare into the Cuban banking system.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has reintroduced the Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act this Congress. The legislation will double the fines and jail time for those who engage in Medicare fraud. It will also create a new penalty for distributing Medicare IDs with the purpose of engaging in fraud.

Said Ros-Lehtinen, "Sadly, it is no surprise that Cuban banks are involved in this devious scheme. The Castro brothers will stop at nothing in order to identify new schemes to help fill their coffers for their own personal gain. As the Cuban people continue to suffer under the dictatorship, the Castro brothers are desperate to use illicit activities to bolster their shameful economy. The fact that this scam artist not only fleeced Medicare for millions of dollars, but also laundered the money in Cuban banks speaks to the growing international dimension that Medicare fraud has taken on. That is why I will work on strengthening my Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act to ensure that these scam artists cannot funnel Medicare funds into rogue nations."