Photo: Operation Universal Money Fast: More in Florida Wanted For Health Care Fraud
In January 2010, Michel De Jesus Huarte, Alyd Dazza, Ricco Dazza, Monika Blacio, Dayron Porrata, and Wally Proenza, all residents of Miami-Dade County, were sentenced by the Honorable Patricia Seitz for various offenses including conspiracy to commit Medicare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. One remaining defendant, Vicente Gonzalez, was sentenced the following month.
With its aging, affluent population, South Florida is ground zero for the multi-billion-dollar criminal industry of health care fraud. Few cases illustrate the depth of the problem—and the FBI’s efforts to fight it—more than Operation Universal Money Fast.
The case involved a massive, sophisticated fraud against Medicare and private insurance companies by scammers who set up more than a dozen fake clinics across five states and submitted tens of millions of dollars in bogus claims related primarily to HIV infusion therapy.
Using stolen identities and bribing physicians to lend an air of legitimacy to the fraud, the thieves bilked the system for an estimated $70 million before the FBI dismantled the enterprise.