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Press Release

Fugitive Cuban national extradited from Spain and sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment for health care fraud conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

MIAMI – A Miami federal district judge sentenced a longtime fugitive and Cuban national, Ariel Nuñez-Finalet, to 36 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in a massive 18-defendant conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud through various south Florida pharmacies. The judge also ordered Nuñez-Finalet to pay $1,910,222 in restitution.

From January 2011 to September 2014, Nuñez-Finalet was involved with a network of pharmacies that submitted more than 16 million dollars in successful, fraudulent claims to Medicare for medications that were medically unnecessary and not provided to patients.  Nuñez-Finalet conspired with two leaders of the conspiracy who are still fugitives, Pedro Torres and Antonio Hevia, and others to defraud Medicare.  Nuñez-Finalet served as the legal owner and registered agent of a fraudulent pharmacy, Lily & Rosy Pharmacy Discount Corp, and furthered the fraud at multiple other pharmacies.  Nuñez-Finalet cashed checks and withdrew cash—typically just below the legal reporting limit of $10,000—to provide patient recruiters with funds they needed for illegal kickbacks.  Those kickbacks were used to obtain Medicare beneficiary information necessary for co-conspirators to submit fraudulent claims.  For just two of the fraudulent pharmacies at which Nuñez-Finalet committed fraud, he caused Medicare to pay over $1.9 million in fraudulent claims for prescription drugs, of which the Government traced over $500,000 to Nuñez-Finalet personally.

When Nuñez-Finalet and his co-conspirators were indicted in April 2016, Nuñez-Finalet had already fled to Cuba, where he lived for years until moving to Mexico in 2022.  On March 21, 2023, Nuñez-Finalet flew to Spain, where he was arrested upon arrival pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice.  The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida worked closely with the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of International Affairs to submit a formal request for Nuñez-Finalet’s extradition to the United States, which was granted by the Government of Spain.  On November 21, 2023, Nuñez-Finalet was surrendered to United States authorities and returned to Miami to face charges for the health care fraud conspiracy, after which he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.

U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Stephen Mahmood of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Region, made the announcement. 

FBI Miami and HHS-OIG Miami investigated the case.  The FBI Legal Attaché office in Madrid, Spain and the DOJ’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in securing the extradition of Nuñez-Finalet.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Egozi and DOJ Senior Litigation Counsel Jim Hayes of the Fraud Section prosecuted the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitchell Hyman handled asset forfeiture. 

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 16-cr-20267.



Public Affairs Unit

U.S. Attorney’s Office

Southern District of Florida

Updated March 29, 2024

Health Care Fraud