Bail Denied To Miami TV Star For Medicare Fraud

A Miami federal judge denied bail Tuesday to TV entrepreneur Roberto Marrero, indicted on charges of stealing millions in a massive Medicare fraud scheme.

Justice John O. Sullivan denied the petition because of Marrero’s potential flight risk. Marrero has traveled to Cuba on four occasions, according to government arguments presented at the 40-minute hearing.

Defense attorney Frederick S. Robbins was upset by Sullivan’s decision.

“I disagree [with the decision], but I hope Mr. Marrero will eventually be freed on bail,” Robbins said after the hearing. “I honestly believe he is not a flight risk.”

Justice Department attorney Brendan Stewart said Marrero and his wife Sandra Fernández Viera, presented false invoices for more than $20 million to the Medicare program covering alleged house health-care services provided to diabetic patients.

Stewart said that Marrero received more than $15 million of that amount.

The indictment says the couple was part of a network of 89 people who conspired to commit Medicare fraud in an operation that extended from Miami to Detroit to Los Angeles. The group, which includes doctors, nurses and clinic operators, was charged collectively of conspiring to scam $223 million from Medicare.

Marrero, who appeared at the hearing handcuffed and shackled and dressed in khaki prison garb, is the owner of Cubana de Televisión’s local cable station. He and his wife were co-owners of Trust Care Health Services in Miami from 2007 to 2010.

Robbins said Marrero was not involved in the day-to-day operations, though he was the company’s titleholder.

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