Via Palm Beach Post:
In an unprecedented case, federal prosecutors have charged a Miami man with engaging in a massive money laundering scheme that moved millions stolen from the federal Medicare program into Cuban banks.
Prosecutors in Miami say Oscar Sanchez, 46, was a key leader in a group that funneled more than $31 million in Medicare dollars into banks in Havana — the first such case that directly traces money fleeced from the beleaguered program into the Cuban banking system.
The case is the first alleging a direct money connection between the explosive Medicare fraud in South Florida, and Cuba, a well-known hiding place for dozens of fugitives who have fled after ripping off the federal program.
Even if fugitives can be located in Cuba, there’s no way to get them back because of the political realities at play.
Because so many of the Medicare defendants are Cuban, rumors have swirled for years that the Castro government has purposely trained and deployed immigrants to take over Medicare-licensed clinics in South Florida, and then harbored them after they returned home. But federal agents and prosecutors, while privately speculating about an official Cuba connection, have had a hard time linking Fidel and Raul Castro’s regime to the rampant healthcare fraud on this side of the Florida Straits...