An­other Medi­care fraud bust, an­other Lam­borgh­ini

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Roberto Mar­rero is no stranger to cops-and-rob­bers drama: the Cuban-born ca­ble TV mag­nate once played bit roles on shows such as “Amer­ica’s Most Wanted,” “Un­solved Mysteries” and “Mi­ami Vice.” Now it seems his real life may ri­val those roles.

The Mi­ami Her­ald re­ported re­cently that Mar­rero and his wife were among the 89 peo­ple ar­rested and ac­cused of Medi­care fraud dur­ing the lat­est coast-to-coast take-down of sus­pects ac­cused of bilk­ing the govern­ment pro­gram of more than $223 mil­lion in a va­ri­ety of schemes.

The al­le­ga­tions against Mar­rero, 59, are se­ri­ous stuff. He is ac­cused of con­spir­ing to fleece Medi­care of $15 mil­lion by billing for fraud­u­lent home-dial­y­sis ser­vices that were “pro­vided” to “pa­tients” who were ac­tu­ally lo­cated through a re­cruiter and agreed to pro­vide their Medi­care num­bers to the scheme. Mar­rero’s Mi­ami com­pany was called Trust Care Health Ser­vices.

Mar­rero, who owns ca­ble chan­nel Cubana de Tele­vi­sion, is plead­ing not guilty and in­tends to ask to be al­lowed to post bail and be re­leased from cus­tody, the Her­ald re­ported. Court records say his de­ten­tion hear­ing is set for June 11. The govern­ment is al­ready work­ing to in­ven­tory Mar­rero’s wealth ahead of a po­ten­tial trial.

Out­liers notes that Mar­rero, if guilty, would join a list of health­care fraud­sters who seem to have a taste for Lam­borgh­i­nis. He ap­par­ently had more than one of the high-per­for­mance ex­otics, among other lux­ury ve­hi­cles.

In 2010, pros­e­cu­tors seized two of the Ital­ian race cars from Ihos­vany Mar­quez, who was ac­cused of buy­ing them with funds in­tended to ben­e­fit HIV and AIDS pa­tients on Medi­care (April 19, 2010, p. 36). And two years ago, au­thor­i­ties auc­tioned off a Lam­borgh­ini Di­ablo seized by the Drug En­force­ment Agency fol­low­ing the bust of an il­le­gal pre­scrip­tion-drug dis­tri­bu­tion ring (Oct. 29, 2012, p. 36).

Then again, per­haps Mar­rero’s garage was a case of life im­i­tat­ing art? He also owns a Fer­rari, a car that was a fix­ture on one of the shows he claims in his act­ing cred­its, “Mi­ami Vice.”

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