A Jet Ski isn’t most people’s first choice when it comes to an escape vehicle. A Cuban man tried to make a smooth getaway from the United States after he was charged in a $4.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Ernesto Cruz Graveran was ordered by a federal judge in Miami to be detained pending his trial. The fifty-four-year-old was charged with health care fraud.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Cruz Graveran’s company, Xiko Enterprises Inc., they submitted around $4.2 million in fraudulent health care claims to Medicare from February 2022 to April 2022. These claims were for medical equipment that Xiko never provided and that Medicare recipients never even requested. Medicare is reported to have paid the fraudulent company over $2.1 million.
Investigators looking into the case learned Cruz Graveran was planning to travel to Havana and approached him before he boarded his flight. Cruz Graveran agreed to cooperate with the investigation and officials detained his passport for safekeeping.
Out of options, Cruz Graveran decided to try something new. He took a Jet Ski and attempted to flee to Cuba, which is around 90 miles south of the Florida Keys. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found Cruz Graveran aboard his broken-down Jet Ski.
According to investigators, the Jet Ski was equipped with a special fuel cell meant for long trips. Also aboard were water bottles and extra food for the trek.