Former Miami Vice Actor Charged in Home Health Fraud
Roberto Marrero made his acting debut as a drug dealer named De La Carte in an episode of Miami Vice. Now, the former actor, director and producer of mostly spanish soap operas has found himself in hot water with the federal government for his part in a home health fraud scheme.
Marrero and his wife, Sandra Fernandez Viera, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to receive and pay health care kickbacks.
Marrero and Viera were the owners and operators of Trust Care Health Services, Inc., which allegedly paid kickbacks and brides to patient recruiters and beneficiaries and then submitted more than $20 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare.
The $20 million were primarily for skilled nursing diabetic care, physical and occupational therapies, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents.
Defendant Enrique Rodriguez worked as a patient recruiter for Trust Care, supplying patients in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.
A civil injunction is being filed to restrain the defendants’ assets to satisfy restitution in the criminal matter, notes the FBI.
If convicted, Marrero and the defendants could face up to 10 years for the health fraud charges and five years for each count of the kickback charges.
United States v. Roberto Marrero, Sandra Fernandez Viera and Enrique Rodriguez is just one of 11 cases in South Florida announced as part of the nationwide Medicare Fraud Strike Force takedown.
“Today’s Medicare Fraud Strike Task Force takedown reminds us that South Florida remains ground Zero for health care fraud,” said Michael B. Steinbach, special agent in charge of FBI Miami Division, regarding all of the 11 cases.
Almost one-third of those charged in the eight-city fraud takedown operation were from the Miami area and accounted for more than $45 million in fraud, said Steinbach.
“Health care fraud is a multi-billion dollar crime problem that is not going away,” he continued. “The FBI is committed to rooting out health care fraud and reclaiming money that was dishonestly obtained.”
Written by Jason Oliva