Officials: Hialeah fraud suspect caught heading to Cuba on Jet Ski

Law enforcement discovered trove of food and water bottles

MIAMI – A Hialeah resident charged in a $4.2 million Medicare fraud scheme is being held as a flight risk after officials said he tried to flee the U.S. on a Jet Ski.

Court records show that a federal judge in Miami ordered 54-year-old Ernesto Cruz Graveran to be detained pending trial Monday.

According to a criminal complaint, Cruz Graveran’s company submitted approximately $4.2 million in fraudulent health care claims to Medicare earlier this year for medical equipment that the company never provided.

Last Wednesday, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers reported finding Cruz Graveran aboard a broken-down Jet Ski in the waters south of Key West, headed in the direction of Cuba.

“Graveran was aboard the jet ski along with one other individual, who was known to law enforcement to be an alien smuggler,” a U.S. Department of Justice news release said Tuesday. “The jet ski was outfitted with a special fuel cell to allow for long trips, and within the compartments of the jet ski, law enforcement discovered a trove of food and water bottles.”

About the Authors:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.