Monday, December 9, 2013

Million dollar Russian scammers immune from prosecution

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.


Anonymous said...

Feds need to investigate corruption taking place by these people in Brighton Beach, Rego Park, and Forest Hills, NY. Follow all of those so called ambulettes shuttling elderly Russian patients to and from doctors and clinics around Queens....something is going on.

Anonymous said...

Eastern Europeans, and Russians in particular, have been known to be quite fond of running insurance scams like this.

Thats why they all drive with dash-cams over there.

Anonymous said...

Let's see - who is more corrupt - Russians or Asians?

Both groups possess excellent skills when it comes to scamming the US government!

I still favor our Mercedes-driving, food stamp-using Asians out here in Flooshing!

Anonymous said...

Some diplomats, not just Russians, are also receiving SCRiE benefits.