U.S. fraudster laundered $31M into Cuba in Medicare scam

Cuban officials are defending the country's banks, amid suspicions they were on the receiving end of a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud and money-laundering scheme, the Associated Press reported. U.S. prosecutors on Monday alleged Oscar Sanchez, a Cuban-American Miami resident, of sending $31 million bilked Medicare, funneling the money to bogus companies in Canada, Trinidad and ultimately to Havana, Cuba around April 2005 and through October 2009, Reuters reported. Prosecutors further clarified that Cuba is not suspected of involvement in the scam.

"It is not Cuba but the United States that is the world's main country for money laundering," Johana Tablada, deputy director for U.S. affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said in the AP article, asserting that foreign commercial banks that maintain accounts in Cuban banks operated in strict compliance.