By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
At the end of a speech at an AARP meeting in Nampa, a woman asked why a federal agency isn’t working to stop Medicare scam.
Returning to the office and searching for an answer, here’s what was discovered:
Prison for head of Medicare fraud ring uncovered by Hinchey aide in Middletown, N.Y.By Heather Yakin February 09, 2013 – 2:00 AM NEW YORK — The leader of a fraud ring that bilked $100 million from Medicare before a worker in then-Rep. Maurice Hinchey’s office in Middletown uncovered the scheme was sentenced Friday to prison time. Federal prosecutors said Armen Kazarian, 47, of Glendale, Calif., was a leader in the Armenian-American Mirzoyan-Terdjanian crime organization and a “Vor,” or “Thief-in-Law,” as certain criminal leaders from former Soviet countries, including Armenia, are known. Kazarian’s group fraudulently billed Medicare for fictional medical procedures using real people’s Medicare information – including that of a local resident. Prosecutors said Kazarian also engaged in extortion. On Friday, Kazarian, who pleaded guilty in 2011 to racketeering conspiracy, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to 37 months in prison and three years of supervised release; he was fined $60,000.
Scammers cannot get away with it.