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73 Busted In Biggest Medicare Scam Ever

From a seemingly surprised Associated Press:

Dozens charged with largest Medicare scam ever

By Tom Hays, Associated Press Writer Wed Oct 13, 2010

NEW YORK – A vast network of Armenian gangsters [sic] and their associates used phantom health care clinics and other means to try to cheat Medicare out of $163 million, the largest fraud by one criminal enterprise in the program’s history, U.S. authorities said Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors in New York and elsewhere charged 73 people. Most of the defendants were captured during raids Wednesday morning in New York City and Los Angeles, but there also were arrests in New Mexico, Georgia and Ohio…

The operation was under the protection of an Armenian crime boss, known in the former Soviet Union as a "vor," prosecutors said. The reputed boss, Armen Kazarian, was in custody in Los Angeles.

Bharara said it was the first time a vor — "the rough equivalent of a traditional godfather" — had been charged in a U.S. racketeering case.

Kazarian, 46, of Glendale, Calif., and two alleged ringleaders — Davit Mirzoyan, 34, also of Glendale, and Robert Terdjanian, 35, of Brooklyn — were named in an indictment charging racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

The indictment accused Terdjanian and others of hatching other schemes involving stolen credit cards, untaxed cigarettes and counterfeit Viagra

Medicare fraud and trafficking "untaxed cigarettes and counterfeit Viagra." – This really is a story of our times.

Authorities began the New York-based investigation after information on 2,900 Medicare patients in upstate New York — including Social Security numbers and dates of birth — were reported stolen.

The defendants in the New York case also had stolen the identities of doctors and set up 118 phantom clinics in 25 states, authorities said. The names were used to submit fake bills for care that was never given, they said.

Some of the phony paperwork was a giveaway: It showed eye doctors doing bladder tests; ear, nose and throat specialists performing pregnancy ultrasounds; obstetricians testing for skin allergies; and dermatologists billing for heart exams

In the New York portion of the case, more $100 million in fraudulent bills were submitted and Medicare paid out at least $35 million, sometimes by wiring it to the clinics’ banks accounts, investigators said.

Of course the paper pushers at Medicare didn’t notice that eye doctors were doing bladder tests. Or maybe they just didn’t care.

Most of the defendants "were Armenian nationals or immigrants and many maintained substantial ties to Armenia" and criminals there, the indictment said. Couriers would often carry cash proceeds from the fraud back to Armenia, it added.

They are just doing the Medicare fraud that American citizens won’t do. And after all, Armenians want a better life, too. (By the way, notice that the legal status of the "immigrants" is carefully omitted.)

Prosecutors were seeking forfeiture of real estate in Las Vegas; Palm Springs, Calif.; and elsewhere, and of a 2007 Maserati and a 2006 Jaguar.

All bought with your tax dollars.

Fortunately, when Medicare and Medicaid are hugely expanded under Obama-care, all of this fraud will go away. Mr. Obama has promised.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, October 14th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “73 Busted In Biggest Medicare Scam Ever”

  1. proreason says:

    The only reason they got busted is that the Armenians are the wrong color.

    Whan people of the right color do it, it’s called ‘justice’.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    We are still providing monetary support for people around the world AND making them “work” for it too!
    If only there was as much enthusiasm for Medicare reform as there is for bailouts of unions.

  3. untrainable says:

    the phony paperwork was a giveaway, and yet the government still paid. Corruption is the norm, and common sense is dead.

    Maybe they should send princess pelosi over to drain the medicare swamp. She’s done so well in the House.

    • Right of the People says:

      Don’t forget the INS renewed 5 of the 9/11 highjackers visas AFTER they were dead.

  4. Chinnubie says:

    Typical oversite of this giant government entitlement. Funny, because this is what got caught not the total amount of fraud that exists in the medicare fraud racket. Everybody will pat themselves on the back and we have still lost the majority of the money that went back to Armenia that will also hire the best defense attorney’s medicare fraud can buy.

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