An offshore remittance company called Caribbean Transfers financed a complex money-laundering ring that moved more than $30 million in stolen Medicare money from South Florida into Cuba’s banking system, federal authorities said Thursday.
The revelation surfaced in the widening case of a now-convicted check-cashing store owner who was first believed to be at the center of the federal case. It marked the first time that investigators traced tainted Medicare proceeds to Cuba’s state-controlled bank.
Now, Caribbean Transfers appears to have played the dominant role in the unprecedented money-laundering scheme.
Prosecutors have filed new conspiracy charges against the founder of the Caribbean-based company, Jorge Emilio Perez, who is at large, and two Miami-Dade County men suspected of defrauding the taxpayer-funded Medicare program.
The latter defendants, Felipe Ruiz and Kirian Vega, are accused of laundering their Medicare profits through the convicted check-cashing store owner, who did business with Caribbean Transfers.
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