Miami-Dade County

Medicare fraud fugitive arrested in Sunny Isles Beach

Luis Marin and David Ocampo
Luis Marin and David Ocampo U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General

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.

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.