Trial of Miami Beach club operators linked to Russian mob gets under

Miami Beach’s “B-Girls” are back.
But not as the sirens who seduced men in swank hotels like the Delano, to lure them to seedy private clubs on Washington Avenue so they could be plied with liquor and swindled.
Some of the 10 Bar Girls convicted over the past year will appear in Miami federal court as government witnesses, to testify against a handful of defendants who authorities say are linked to Russian organized crime.
On trial starting Tuesday are four reputed associates, along with a Sunny Isles Beach investor who once dabbled in local politics. They’re accused of orchestrating a fraud scheme to run up the credit card bills of South Beach tourists by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Two South Florida doctors sent to prison for 10 years in major Medicare scam

Two South Florida doctors convicted of conspiring to defraud Medicare through the nation’s largest mental-health racket were each sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday.
A federal jury in June convicted psychiatrists Mark Willner, 56, of Weston and Alberto Ayala, 68, of Coral Gables, the medical directors for American Therapeutic Corp., for their roles in a $205 million scheme to fleece the taxpayer-funded program for the elderly and disabled.
The 12-person jury found them not guilty on other healthcare fraud offenses.
U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz gave the two doctors the maximum prison sentence for their cruicial roles in the criminal conspiracy, and then ordered Willner to pay $57 million and Ayala $87 million to Medicare.
Justice Department prosecutors said the doctors prescribed $120 million worth of fraudulent psychotherapy sessions at ATC’s chain of clinics in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Willner and Ayala were paid $641,000 and $536,000, respectively, for their services, according to trial evidence.
Since Miami-based ATC’s chain was shuttered two years ago, 35 defendants have been charged in the case with the majority pleading guilty. The ringleader, business owner Lawrence Duran, received a 50-year prison sentence — the stiffest punishment ever for a Medicare fraud offender.

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Giving Attorney's A Bad Name

A Miami immigration attorney is being accused of submitting fraudulent information to help six foreign nationals in Southwest Florida get permanent residence, according to a report by
Karen Caco has been indicted on visa fraud and conspiracy charges. She operated International Immigration Services PA in Naples.
Caco is accused of forging letters and submitting fraudulent lease agreements and financial information. According to the report, Caco was arrested Tuesday and released on $50,000 bond. The charges carry a 10-year sentence in federal prison if she is convicted.

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Feds bust three ex-NFL players on ID-theft and tax-related fraud charges

Three former National Football League players have been arrested by the FBI on federal charges in connection with an alleged scheme to steal people’s identities and file false tax returns in others’ names, according to authorities.

The three ex-NFL players charged with defrauding the federal government and ID theft are: William Joseph, a University of Miami defensive tackle drafted in the first round by the New York Giants in 2003; Michael Bennett, a University of Wisconsin running back also drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2001; and Louis Gachelin, a Syracuse University defensive tackle who was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2004.

Joseph and Gachelin are Miami natives; Bennett was born in Milwaukee. All three were questioned after their arrests Monday by FBI agents at the bureau’s North Miami Beach regional office. They were then transferred to the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami for court appearances Tuesday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Dube, according to the clerk’s office. Details of the alleged scheme are expected to be disclosed in a criminal complaint to be released later Tuesday.

FBI spokesman Mike Leverock declined to comment.

As part of a related investigation, the FBI also arrested about a half-dozen other defendants Monday.

Authorities say the latest tax-related fraud case, while unique because of the ex-NFL defendants, is yet another indication of escalating identity-theft crimes in South Florida.

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