| Columns |

Miami's Medicare Racket: Eight More Indicted in $100 Million Fraud

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Let's go ahead and just christen it the cocaine trade of the Double-Aughts: Medicare fraud may be a lot less sexy, but it sure is keeping federal prosecutors in Miami busy.

One month after busting up a $21 million, three-state ring, the feds expanded that investigation and charged eight Miami residents -- including the two ringleaders named in the earlier case -- with building a five-state, $100 million scheme.

Here's how it worked, according to prosecutors: The defendants set up six fake medical clinics in Miami-Dade and eight storefront clinics elsewhere in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina, with charming names like Tender Loving Care Medical Center and Eulogia's Diagnostic Medical Center, Inc.

The clinics then filed more than $100 million in false Medicare claims, mostly for "infusion therapy" and outdated HIV treatment.

The indictment also charges two owners of a local check cashing store with laundering the fake clinics' money, delivering bags of up to $80,000 cash to the clinic owners several times a week.

"This case is remarkable, not only in terms of the amounts stolen from Medicare, but also in terms of its sophistication and geographic breadth," acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said in a statement. "These defendants attempted to steal approximately $100 million from the elderly, blind, and disabled."

Here's a list of those charged:

  • Michel De Jesus Huarte, 38
  • Ramon Fonseca, 45
  • Vicente Gonzalez, 38
  • Alyd Dazza, 45
  • Monika Blanco, 41
  • Ricco Dazza, 41
  • Orlin Tamayo Quinonez, 35
  • Juan Carralera, 56

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.