Miami TV entrepreneur accused of role in Medicare fraud

TV entrepreneur Roberto Marrero will be remaining behind bars in Florida for his alleged role in Medicare fraud. Due to the fact that he has gone to Cuba on four occasions, the Miami federal judge said he is a flight risk and bail was denied.

In looking at what happened, Marrero and his wife are accused of providing false invoices to the Medicare program. This was in relation to Trust Care Health Services, a company of which Marrero was the president.

According to the indictment, Marrero was one of 89 who conspired together to commit Medicare fraud. This fraudulent activity reportedly spread from Miami to Los Angeles and Detroit and netted in $223 million from Medicare.

While Marrero was the president of Trust Care Health Services, others allegedly involved in this Medicare fraud ring included other clinic operators, doctors and nurses.

For Marrero and his wife, the couple is accused of giving another man thousands of dollars each month in order to bribe Medicare patients to the health services company. The indictment claims the couple would then send illegal invoices for services rendered and would bill Medicare for physical therapy that their patients did not really need.

In totally, Marrero is accused of receiving $15 million through Medicare fraud. However, Marrero claims he does not have any of the money, and according to a recent Miami Herald article, said he spent it on paying employees of the local TV station that he owns.

In general, Medicare fraud falls under the umbrella term of white collar crimes. These types of crimes, while not physically violent or dangerous in nature, are still taken quite seriously by the courts. In fact, fraud convictions can not only result in lengthy prison sentences, but also expensive fines and damages to a person's reputation. This can make it even harder to rebuild life after prison.

Source: Miami Herald, "Bail denied to Miami TV star caught up in Medicare fraud," Enrique Flor, June 12, 2013

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