Fraud charges in Miami are not uncommon, but it is unusual when someone attempts to smuggle millions of dollars in from another country in their suitcase at Miami International Airport. That is exactly what happened on June 4 when two women traveling from the Dominican Republic were found to have been carrying a large sum of cash in their luggage.
The women facing the fraud charges are Mildrey Gonzalez and her daughter Milka Alfonso. The suitcases they were transporting from the island were said to hold upwards of 2.4 million dollars. The duo was also found to have, in addition to the 2.4 million in cash, 1.7 million stashed away in a bank account and luxury properties on Miami Beach.
Alleged Money Found to be the Result of Medicare Fraud
Officers uncovered $2,467,616 hidden in diapers, baby wipe containers, and make-up bags. The money was then seized by federal agents and the women found to have obtained the cash through defrauding Medicare. They are being charged for having made false claims in order to receive compensation, a fact that came to light when assessing documentation last week.
Request for Access to Frozen Assets to Fund Trial Costs
In yet another twist to this odd case, the women have filed a request to have some of their money be returned to them or that their frozen assets be liquidated in order to cover court fees. The motion they made was deferred to another judge and the process is expected to take several days.
Miami court judge Andrea Simonton was supposed to hear the money case last week, however the arraignment was delayed due to the fact that the defendants' have yet to be able to hire lawyers. The new arraignment is set for Wednesday, July 27. The defendants, who are U.S. Citizens, and their lawyers have not issued any statements regarding the charges.
Fraud charges are serious allegations that can result in frozen assets, jail time, and more. When your rights and freedom are on the line, it's critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who has represented defendants in white-collar crime cases. For more information on Russell Spatz's criminal defense services, please call 305-442-0200.
Women accused of hiding $2.4 million in luggage also linked to alleged Medicare fraud. (n.d.). Retrieved July 20, 2016, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article90218597.html