By William E. Gibson
U.S. officials will continue this week to pressure Cuba to turn over fugitives wanted for Medicare fraud and other crimes in the United States.
Closer cooperation between the two old adversaries could disrupt a criminal pipeline that has funneled ill-gotten gains from Florida to Cuba, an organized crime network disclosed last month by the Sun Sentinel after a year-long investigation.
Some members of Congress are demanding the return of fugitives, hoping to halt Cuban crime rings and discourage scams.
“I would hope that if those who wish to violate American law understand that they can’t hide from prosecution in Cuba, it would help to deter people from ripping off American taxpayers,” said U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat who represents parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties.
The issue will be raised Thursday when Cuba’s alleged links to terrorist groups are discussed at a House subcommittee hearing.