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Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

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  • Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=130542254

    A vast network of Armenian gangsters 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 scheme's scope and sophistication "puts the traditional Mafia to shame," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a Manhattan news conference. "They ran a veritable fraud franchise."

    Unlike other cases involving crooked medical clinics bribing people to sign up for unneeded treatments, the operation was "completely notional," Janice Fedarcyk, head of the FBI's New York office, said in a statement. "The whole doctor-patient interaction was a mirage."

    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. It also alleges that during a meeting last year at a Brighton Beach restaurant, Terdjanian pulled a knife on someone who owed him money "and threatened to disembowel the individual if the debt was not paid."

    A judge jailed Terdjanian without bail on Wednesday at a brief hearing. Afterward, his attorney said his client denies the charges.

    Kazarian and Mirzoyan were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday in Los Angeles.

    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.

    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.

    Prosecutors were seeking forfeiture of real estate in Las Vegas; Palm Springs, Calif.; and elsewhere, and of a 2007 Maserati and a 2006 Jaguar.
    "Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." ~Malcolm X

  • #2
    Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

    they're idiots, bringing down the name of Armenians, they deserve to go to jail.
    Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
    ---
    "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

      This is embarassing and shameful. These guys should be canned.
      Achkerov kute.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

        Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post
        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=130542254

        a vor — "the rough equivalent of a traditional godfather" — had been charged in a U.S. racketeering case.
        I stopped reading right there.....very funny Kanada
        B0zkurt Hunter

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        • #5
          Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

          xxxxing embarrassing. I'm shocked by how many very involved as well. Unfortunately, this is going to hurt Armenia/Armenians in many areas. I'll take having to deal with the trashy Km Kardashian xxxx any day over this. I hope all these xxxxers rot in jail.
          General Antranik (1865-1927): “I am not a nationalist. I recognize only one nation, the nation of the oppressed.”

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          • #6
            Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

            I wish they could go arrest all the mafia criminals in Armenia that rule and steal from the country....
            Մեկ Ազգ, Մեկ Մշակույթ
            ---
            "Western Assimilation is the greatest threat to the Armenian nation since the Armenian Genocide."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever



              Originally posted by KanadaHye View Post

              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.

              Kazarian, who immigrated to the United States in 1996, is identified in the indictment as “vor v zakone,” or a “thief in the law-code,” a powerful figure in the criminal underworld of the former Soviet Union.

              here are some excerpts from another article

              Bharara said it was the first time a vor, which is “the rough equivalent of a traditional godfather,” had been charged in a U.S. racketeering case.
              The indictment says most members of the organization were Armenian nationals or immigrants who maintained substantial ties to Armenia. In addition to regularly traveling there, they had criminal connections, transferred criminal proceeds to the country, and bought real estate and businesses with money from their illegal profits.

              “The reach of this organization stretches clear across the country and well beyond our shores. And so in terms of profitability, geographic scope, and sheer ambition this emerging international organized crime syndicate would be the envy of any traditional mafia family,” Bharara said.

              The indictment also accused Robert Terdjanian, 35, of Brooklyn and others of hatching other schemes involving stolen credit cards, untaxed cigarettes and counterfeit Viagra. It also alleged that during a meeting last year at a Brighton Beach restaurant, Terdjanian pulled a knife on someone who owed him money “and threatened to disembowel the individual if the debt was not paid.”
              http://asbarez.com/86694/fbi-busts-a...f-163-million/
              Last edited by ara87; 10-14-2010, 07:06 PM.
              Due to budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

                Its like an episode of the Shield. Very shameful and an embrassment!

                Not sure why the US let the Armenian criminal in the first place.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

                  Godfather vs. Vor
                  Who would win in a fight?
                  By Brian Palmer
                  Posted Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010, at 6:32 PM ET

                  An Armenian-American gang stole more than $35 million from Medicare, according to the Manhattan U.S. attorney. The government unsealed indictments against 44 people on Wednesday, including the first racketeering charges ever filed against a "vor," the Eurasian gangster equivalent of a godfather. It seems as if the power of Russian, Armenian, and other Eurasian mobsters is rising as the power of Italian Mafia declines. In a gangland battle between the vory and the godfathers, who would win?
                  The godfathers. Most Italian crime families are hierarchical organizations. As the unquestioned leader, a godfather can order his foot soldiers into battle. Eurasian organized crime is a lot less ... organized. Their "gangs" are loosely affiliated networks of criminals who band together opportunistically—more like independent contractors than employees. While Russian, Armenian, and Georgian gangsters are certainly not above violence, they wouldn't enter into direct conflict with even the enfeebled Mafiosi of today. They don't have very many loyal gunmen, and turf battles aren't their style, anyway.

                  The original vory v zakone, or "thieves in law," emerged from Soviet jails in the middle of the last century. They arrived in the United States in the 1970s and took over a few Russian ethnic communities. The most notorious vor was Evsei Agron of Brighton Beach, a classic Russian strongman who carried a cattle prod. Everyone knew the vory were criminals. Many sported intimidating tattoos and talked about how the U.S. government couldn't scare anyone who had survived the savage cruelty of the Gulag.
                  Despite their bravado, the vory weren't strong enough to tangle with La Cosa Nostra. They avoided the Mafia's neighborhoods and their traditional portfolio—mainly extorting small and medium-size businesses for protection money. Many Russian kingpins moved into unexploited criminal niches like financial fraud. While these schemes occasionally necessitated bumping someone off, they didn't lend themselves to towering hierarchical organizations and legions of loyal enforcers.
                  Today's Eurasian mob bosses have a wide variety of business interests, some of them totally legit. Many belong to country clubs and wear Armani suits. They so little resemble the old-school vory that prosecutors and journalists are the only ones who still refer to them that way.
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                  When Eurasian mobsters see a business opportunity, like a chance to defraud Medicare, they tap into their network to see who's available. Members include everyone from petty criminals to former KGB agents and Ph.D.s in economics. The mobsters prefer to send an operative with no criminal record to the United States to execute the scam. He establishes a post office box and collects checks until he thinks someone's getting wise. Then he disappears back into Russia, Armenia, or wherever else he can be sheltered. Having turned a tidy profit, the agent may never speak to the scheme's mastermind again. While the Teflon dons of the Mafia excelled at beating charges in court, Eurasian mobsters are rarely identified in the first place.

                  Just because Eurasian gangsters don't command loyal armies doesn't mean they're not as dangerous as the Mafia. In many ways, they're more so. The Mafia's scams required them to be firmly rooted in their communities. They leaned on local businessmen and kept crooked politicians in their pockets. Those relationships held them in check. If a godfather put a hit on a pillar of the community, the citizens might call for his arrest. The local alderman, who also had the voters to worry about, might not be able to protect him.
                  Transient, transnational Eurasian gangs who answer to no one have crossed lines the Mafia never would. They are known to have sold heavy arms to Islamic terrorists, for example. While he later recanted his statement, captured al-Qaida member Ibn al-Shaykh al Libi even claimed that Russian criminals provided the group with nuclear material.
                  Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.
                  Explainer thanks Mark Galeotti of NYU and Louise I. Shelley of George Mason University.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Armenians Gangsters Charged With Largest Medicare Scam Ever

                    I've never heard "vor" being used to describe anything like a "Godfather" figure? Is it just me?

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