Steven A. Meyerowitz, 06 Decembet 2013
A total of 49 current or former Russian diplomats and their spouses have been charged by U.S. prosecutors with participating in a widespread health care fraud scheme from 2004 to August 2013 to illegally obtain nearly half a million dollars in Medicaid benefits. Not one of the people charged was arrested, because of diplomatic immunity.
Each of the defendants is a current or former Russian diplomat or the spouse of a diplomat employed at either the Russian Mission to the United Nations, the Russian Federation Consulate General in New York, or the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in the USA, New York Office.
The government alleged that each of the defendants and their unnamed co-conspirators participated in a widespread scheme to illegally obtain Medicaid benefits for prenatal care and related costs by, among other things, falsely underreporting their income or falsely claiming that their child was a citizen of the United States.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Diplomacy should be about extending hands, not picking pockets in the host country. Here, as alleged, a multitude of Russian diplomats and their spouses ran a scam on a health care system designed to help Americans in need. As the complaint alleges, the scam exploited a weakness in the Medicaid system, and the charges expose shameful and systemic corruption among Russian diplomats in New York.”