Local October 23, 2012 | 10:03 am

U.S. agents seek another Cuban in major Medicare fraud

NEW YORK.- Federal agents search Dominican Republic for the fugitive remittance company owner Jorge Emilio Perez, indicted on an alleged US$30.0 million fraud against U.S. Medicare in South Florida.

Prosecutors say Perez’s company used Cuban banks to take the money swindled out of the U.S., and believe he fled to Dominican Republic a few weeks ago.

Investigators followed the money trail to banks in Cuba, and added charges of conspiracy against Perez, founder of Caribbean Transfers, and also charged Philip Ruiz and Kirian Vega of laundering money through the agency which also cashes checks.

Cuba’s government licensed Caribbean Transfers to conduct transactions from other Caribbean countries with that island nation.

Cuban born Ruiz, a naturalized American, was denied bail in Miami federal court, where prosecutors motioned that he poses a flight risk to his home country or others in the region.

The Justice Department said at the time there’s no evidence linking Havana to the scam and money laundering, and Cuban officials have denied involvement.

Cuban brothers

The most notorious case of U.S. Medicare fraud involving Dominican Republic occurred three years ago, when the three Cuban born Benitez brothers fled Florida after being charged with scamming more than US$100.0 million from the health service. They reportedly returned to Cuba and haven’t been heard since.

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