After months of hiding out in a Hialeah apartment during the day and cleaning office buildings at night, Luis Marin was arrested late Wednesday in Sunny Isles Beach for his role in what federal agents say was a $16.5 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Though he never held a license, Marin posed as a physical therapist in a criminal ring that from 2011 to 2014 billed Medicare for home health services that were either unnecessary or never provided, said Omar Perez-Aybar, supervisory special agent in Miami for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General.
Marin became a fugitive in August. His recent capture was “dumb luck but good police work,” Perez-Aybar said.
At around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night a traffic signal camera in Sunny Isles Beach took a picture of Marin’s license plate, according to Perez-Aybar. It was unclear if he was speeding or breaking traffic laws at the time.
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Police records showed the plate number belonged to a wanted man and two officers were dispatched to arrest Marin, Perez-Aybar said.
“Usually, we catch fugitives at the airport,” Perez-Aybar added.
The Sunny Isles Beach Police Department could not be reached for comment.
Marin was transferred Thursday to a federal detention center in Miami where he will await trial on charges of healthcare fraud and money laundering.
A co-conspirator, Daniel Ocampo, was sentenced to 120 months in prison in September.
Florida is a hot-spot for Medicare fraud in part because of its large population of retirees, said Katherine Harris, a spokeswoman for OIG.
This article was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.