BI releases suspect in $1.7-M US nursing home fraud

By Evelyn Macairan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 18 2014 08:30 AM | Updated as of Jan 18 2014 04:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has released one of the most wanted fugitives in New Jersey, accused of defrauding a nursing home of $1.7 million, after learning that he is a Filipino.

BI spokesperson Ma. Angelica Pedro said yesterday they released Peter Leus from their detention facility last Jan. 15 after he presented documents showing that he is not a US citizen.

“In all the documents that he submitted, there was no evidence of him being a dual citizen. Even the Interpol red notice stated that he was a Filipino,” Pedro said.

She said while they did not turn Leus over to the Philippine National Police or the National Bureau of Investigation, they told the PNP about the development.

Leus, who allegedly defrauded the New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Jersey of $1.7 million, was nabbed in his house in Sta. Ana, Manila on Jan. 11.

It was earlier reported that he has been in the country for almost eight years – right after the Superior Court in Mercer County ordered his arrest in 2005. There is a standing warrant of arrest against him for theft by deception and money laundering.

Pedro said that to her knowledge, the US embassy has not commented on Leus’ release. She did not say whether the embassy was informed of the fugitive’s release.