Your Health ;
; Medicare loses billions to fraud annually.
; Cutting fraud means cutting health care costs.
; New Medicare fraud squads are cracking down.
By Jay Weaver
hey indulge their wildest
whims—a private helicopter, Lamborghini sports T
cars, thoroughbred horses, even a “
Pirates of the Caribbean” water theme
park. For the schemers and scammers, Medicare fraud is one crime
that does pay—and pay and pay.
The Benitez brothers of Miami—Carlos, Luis
and Jose—can vouch for that, federal pros-
ecutors say. The brothers, who operated fake
storefront clinics there, were indicted last year
on fraud charges after allegedly collecting $84
million from Medicare for phony medical treat-
ments. They spent their Medicare millions on
the helicopter, the horses, a rental car agency
and tourist hotels—all items the government is
now trying to seize and reclaim for taxpayers.