From the Huffington Post:
Dozens of current or former Russian diplomats and their spouses enjoyed luxury vacations and spent tens of thousands of dollars on concert tickets, fine clothing and helicopter rides as they lied about their incomes to get the government to pay their health care bills with money meant for the poor, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
The diplomats were among 49 individuals charged in a complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan, though no arrests were made and only 11 of the diplomats and their spouses remained in the United States. The complaint said Medicaid, a health care program for the poor, lost about $1.5 million in the scheme since 2004.
"Diplomacy should be about extending hands, not picking pockets in the host country," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a Manhattan news conference. He called it "shameful and systemic corruption."
Russian officials at the United Nations did not immediately comment.
The complaint alleges that the defendants submitted fraudulent applications for medical benefits for pregnancies, births and care for young children. Federal prosecutors said the diplomats qualified for Medicaid benefits by underreporting their income, often by tens of thousands of dollars.
Bharara said it was a case "we would be prosecuting and making arrests in, but for immunity." Still, he added, participation in crimes by diplomats generally leads to expulsion from a country.