Ernesto Cruz Graveran was caught and arrested with a known people smuggler in the Florida Keys with a watercraft that authorities say was filled with a “trove of food and water.”
Image: Getty Images)
A Florida man has been arrested after he allegedly tried to flee to Cuba on a jet ski and was accused of filing over $4million (£3.3million) in fraudulent health claims.
Ernesto Cruz Graveran, 54, was caught in the Florida Keys area with another man known as a people smuggler, according to officials in the South District of Florida.
According to court documents, the jet ski was loaded with a “trove” of food and water, enough to make the trip, it is believed.
“The jet ski was fitted with a special fuel cell to enable long journeys, and in the jet ski’s compartments law enforcement discovered a treasure trove of food and bottled water,” officials said.
“I think it’s likely that Ernesto Cruz Graveran did in fact flee to Cuba aboard the jet ski to avoid prosecution,” a Department of Homeland Security agent said.
Federal prosecutors say Cruz Graveran owned a company called Xiko Enterprises and allegedly demanded a total of £3.5million in payments for bogus claims.
Graveran pocketed £1.7million in just two months in February and April before the scheme was discovered and police pressed charges.
In one case, Graveran sought £833,000 in claims for equipment allegedly provided to 145 patients by a single doctor. However, investigators determined that these recipients never existed and the doctor had not filed any claims on their behalf.
In May, police received word that Cruz Graveran intended to fly to his native Cuba and approached him at his home. According to court filings, Cruz Graveran told officials that he was only the nominee owner of the company and that another person, not named in the court filings, paid him to use his name and process the checks.
Some of the checks were for as much as £75,000 and he often took them to a local bank, according to the government affidavit. Cruz Graveran agreed to cooperate and handed over his passport, but three weeks later he reportedly attempted to flee the district. He is being held without bail awaiting trial.
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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/conman-caught-cops-after-jet-27236655 Cheaters caught by police after jet ski breaks down during dramatic escape attempt to Cuba - World News