Medicare Fraud and Cuba?

flag_cuba.gifThe recent arrests of by the DOJ-HHS health care fraud task force, HEAT, of 52 individuals related to Medicare Fraud in Detroit, and the allegation that the crimes were somewhat commuter crimes, brought to Detroit from Miami has also raised an issue of the involvement of certain ethnic groups, and particularly recent Cuban immigrants, in the offenses. The history of the United States has certainly involved the rise of organized crime through immigrant groups, generally criminal activity becoming much easier to organize among insular communities who are suspicious of the larger communities or government to protect them.
While it is unfair to brand entire nationalities for the crimes of extreme minorities of those groups, certain ethnic groups come to be associated with certain crimes. Much has been made in lore about the Italian Mafia’s association with organized crime generally, others include Jamaican drug gangs in the 1980s, Chinese gangs in the slave trade, Nigerian credit card frauds. One other is the Miami-Cuban connection to Medicare Fraud schemes.
Such is the perception that the recent Florida Anti-Health Care Fraud legislation created a provision requiring immigrants to obtain a bond prior to obtaining a clinic license. A Miami Herald article addresses the issue of the Cuban connection to Medicare Fraud, with an interesting aside thrown in, an often raised but not yet proven allegation as to whether the Cuban government itself is involved in Medicare fraud. To read the Herald article and comments posted there, click here.