- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MIAMI (AP) - A Miami man who was a fugitive for two decades before his capture in Nicaragua has been sentenced to five years in prison for an old Medicare fraud conviction.

Court records show 50-year-old Robert Allen Lopez was sentenced Tuesday by a Miami federal judge. Lopez was flown to Miami earlier this year after his November 2015 arrest in Nicaragua.

In December 1995, Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government by establishing fake companies that filed false Medicare claims totaling more than $4.3 million. He was released on bail but fled before he was sentenced.

His attorney said in court papers Lopez fled because of threats to his life and because he wasn’t placed in a witness protection program as initially promised when he began cooperating with investigators.

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