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Discount Pharmacy

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Ariel Nuñez-Finalet was involved with a network of pharmacies with the same goals in mind. To submit more as many fraudulent claims to Medicare for medications that were not only medically unnecessary, but not even provided to patients. They succeeded in stealing more than $16 million from the U.S. taxpayer. Nuñez-Finalet served as the legal owner and registered agent of a pharmacy, Lily & Rosy Pharmacy Discount Corp. “Discount” being that Lily & Rosy Pharmacy was short on medications, but steep on kickbacks. From January 2011 to September 2014, in the comfort of his pharmacy, Nuñez-Finalet cashed checks and withdrew cash, always below the legal reporting limit of $10,000, to provide patient recruiters with funds they needed for illegal kickbacks. Those kickbacks were used to obtain Medicare beneficiary information necessary to submit fraudulent claims. Nuñez-Finalet himself, caused Medicare to pay over $1.9 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs.

When Nuñez-Finalet and his co-conspirators were indicted in April 2016, Nuñez-Finalet had already fled to Cuba, where he was living the life of a king laundering Medicare fraud proceeds. But the U.S. courts were not going to go down without a fight. They requested an Interpol Red Notice. A worldwide fraudster alerts. Which resulted in Nuñez-Finalet being found by Cuban Intelligence, charged for money laundering, and sentenced to eight years in a Cuban prison. Not exactly the life of a king! While on probation in 2022, Nunez fled with his family to Mexico, and the following year, fled to Spain, where he was arrested and finally extradited to the United States.

At his sentencing on March 28, 2024, Nuñez-Finalet apologized for stealing from the U.S. government while saying that his life as a fugitive in Cuba turned into a “hell” after he was imprisoned there for laundering his dirty Medicare profits. Not accepted. Nuñez-Finalet, was sentenced to thirty-six months in prison. The judge also ordered Nuñez-Finalet to pay $1,910,222 in restitution.

This case was investigated by the F.B.I.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “A Medicare fraudster who escaped to Cuba gets his sentence in Miami a decade later” published by The Miami Herald on March 29, 2024
A decade ago, Ariel Nunez Finalet played a supporting role in a Miami-area racket that used local pharmacies to submit about $17 million in phony prescription drug claims to Medicare for patients who got kickbacks for medicine they didn’t need.

Nunez and four others in the ring fled to Cuba with millions fleeced from the taxpayer-funded program to avoid a federal indictment and “live like a king,” according to prosecutors. His share of the Medicare ripoff: more than $500,000.

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