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Russian diplomats defraud Medicaid

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  • Russian diplomats defraud Medicaid

    Russian diplomats charged in alleged Medicaid fraud scheme
    December 6, 2013

    Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses the charges at a news conference

    Dozens of current and former Russian diplomats and their spouses were charged with participating in a nine-year fraud scheme that allegedly bilked the U.S. government of more than $1.5 million in Medicaid benefits, according to a federal complaint unsealed Thursday. The 49 defendants -- 25 current and former Russian diplomats and 24 of their spouses -- allegedly exploited their positions by filing fraudulent Medicaid expenses related to prenatal care and childbirth, the complaint said. The complaint said that of 63 births to Russian diplomats in New York City in the past nine years, the overwhelming majority were paid for by Medicaid benefits. "A multitude of Russian diplomats and their spouses ran a scam on the health care system designed to help Americans in need," Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference.

    "Being a diplomat does not give you the right to commit health care fraud," George Venizelos, assistant director in charge of the New York FBI office, said at a news conference. While the defendants were claiming false incomes, they also spent thousands of dollars on luxury items and vacations, the complaint said. They chartered helicopters, rented limousines and purchased jewelry from Tiffany & Co., Bharara said. He added, "The scam exploited the weakness in the Medicaid system and the charges exposed shameful and systemic corruption among the Russian diplomats in New York." Authorities said 11 of the 49 defendants still reside in New York but have not been arrested because they have diplomatic immunity. Diplomats cannot be arrested unless immunity is waived from the dissenting country, Bharara said.

    It is commonplace in the East. Russian corruption is now right in New York bilking US taxpayers.

  • #2
    If he is diplomat how come he comes under Medicaid scheme, or I am missing something here?