Armenian-American Gang Busted For Massive $163 Million Medicare Scam

BY Scott Shifrel

New York Daily News

Oct 14 2010

An Armenian-American gang was busted Wednesday for running a $163
million scam that used phantom clinics and bogus patients to rip off
Medicare, authorities said.

More than 70 gangsters and their associates were arrested in New York,
Los Angeles, Miami and Atlanta in what authorities said was one of
the biggest Medicare scams ever.

Federal authorities also busted a vor, a Eurasian version of a
godfather, who headed the ring. Armen Kazrian’s arrest in Los Angeles,
“marks the first U.S. arrest of a vor v zakone – or “thief-in-law,”
FBI Assistant Director Janice Fedarcyk said.

“It puts an end to the largest Medicare fraud ever committed by
a single criminal enterprise,” Fedarcyk said. “There were no real
medical clinics behind the fraudulent billings, just stolen doctors’

“The whole doctor-patient interaction was a mirage.”

One of the fake clinics used by the gang was a small office over a
Coney Island auto body shop, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

He said two Queens doctors and a worker at Lutheran Hospital in
Brooklyn were among those arrested for giving out patient information.

Those arrested face from three years to life in prison if convicted
on charges that include conspiracy to commit health fraud, money
laundering and bank fraud, authorities said.

From: A. Papazian