Russian diplomats scam low income healthcare provider Medicaid for benefits
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York prosecuted 49 former and current Russian diplomats working in New York for providing fictitious information over the last decade in order to obtain benefits from Medicaid, a program designed to provide healthcare for low income earners, the Russian media wrote Dec. 6.
“The FBI’s investigation revealed that Russian diplomats provided falsified documents showing they earn less than USD 3,000 a month, which is the minimum fixed income in New York, to get benefits provided by Medicaid for low income families,” Kommersant reported.
The suspects used the same scheme to get illegal funds after a child was born in a diplomat’s family. A legate would contact social services with a request for assistance significantly understating the family’s income, according to the investigation.
Money received from Medicaid was spent on luxury goods in popular retail outlet Bloomingdale’s and other shopping centers, the research showed.
The prosecutors filed the case in court demanding the arrest of the scammers. As diplomats have immunity from prosecution, experts consider such an outcome as unlikely.
Only 11 out of the 49 suspects are still in the country. The rest have returned to Russia.
Medicaid was created in the US in the early 1980s to provide public healthcare and financial aid for legal U.S. residents living in poverty.