HomeTamarac NewsOver $5 million in fraudulent claims leads to charges against South Florida...

Over $5 million in fraudulent claims leads to charges against South Florida man


Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg has brought to light a significant legal development involving a Florida resident accused of exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic for personal gain. Willie F. Murray, Jr., a 55-year-old man from West Park, FL, faces serious allegations under the newly unsealed indictment.

Murray is charged with six counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. The gravity of these accusations is underscored by the potential penalties: up to 20 years in federal prison for each count of wire fraud, plus an additional mandatory two years for each count of aggravated identity theft. Moreover, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of substantial assets acquired allegedly through the proceeds of these crimes, totaling over $5.6 million in currency, more than $1.5 million from a bank account, and seven real properties scattered across Punta Gorda, Fort Lauderdale, Belle Glade, Hollywood, and South Bay, Florida.

The indictment revolves around Murray’s operation of Lab Tess, LLC, a company that falsely claimed to offer COVID-19 testing services. According to the indictment, “In fact, Lab Tess provided no such services.” Instead, Murray is accused of leveraging the company to file over 126,000 fraudulent claims for reimbursement, targeting funds designated for testing uninsured individuals. The indictment details how Murray egregiously misused personal identifying information from various vulnerable groups, including incarcerated individuals, residents of homeless shelters, and even deceased persons, to substantiate these false claims. This elaborate scheme netted approximately $5.6 million, part of which Murray allegedly used to acquire valuable real estate in South Florida.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Pizzo and Suzanne Nebesky.

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