News / USA

    US Charges Dozens of Russian Diplomats with Fraud

    Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats, New York, Dec. 5, 2013.Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats, New York, Dec. 5, 2013.
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    Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats, New York, Dec. 5, 2013.
    Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats, New York, Dec. 5, 2013.
    U.S. prosecutors are charging 49 current and former Russian diplomats and family members with fraud in an illegal scheme to get health benefits intended for the poor.
     
    Investigators say the diplomats from Russia's U.N. mission lied about their incomes to get $1.5 million in benefits from the U.S. Medicaid program. The benefits covered costs related to pregnancies, births and infant care.
     
    They each were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to steal government funds.
     
    Reuters news agency reports only a small number of those charged still live in the United States and all had diplomatic immunity that Russia would have to waive for any arrests to be made.
     
    FBI spokesman Peter Donald said no one has been arrested.
     
    The Russian mission to the United Nations did not immediately comment on the charges.
     
    Charging papers say the defendants obtained letters stating their false incomes from officials at the Russian U.N. mission, as well as from former top officials at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York and the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation.
     
    According to the charges, the family members spent "tens of thousands of dollars" on vacations, jewelry and luxury goods from stores like Swarovski and Jimmy Choo.
     
    Hundreds of Russian diplomats and their families live in a compound in the Riverdale neighborhood in the Bronx.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    December 07, 2013 6:11 PM
    Slap them hard, their government is crooked, and has been the primary reason so many are killed in Syria and still are...

    Lets see Russian government get some uppercuts for being a disgrace to the world.

    by: JKF from: Great North (Canada)
    December 06, 2013 10:16 PM
    It is very hard to believe, that any one belonging to the diplomatic mission of one of the wealthiest countries in the world would be allowed to collect social benefits in a foreign country, like the US! It is just amazing that this could occur. Diplomatic missions are supposed to be self sustaining to avoid any conflicts of interest. Surely the Russian gvmt gave them sufficient salaries to sustain themselves, they must have even cheated their own gvmt.

    by: bala from: nigeria
    December 06, 2013 4:41 AM
    Is there any battle at all that the world is winning? certainly not corruption

    by: track
    December 05, 2013 9:29 PM
    I'm not suprised.
    Many elderly Russian receive their pension in Russia, they also have a house or condominium in Russia which they usually rent out, while sitting on the SSI Benefits in America and enjoy all the benefits for the poor including tax return money though they have to report their incom to the IRS.
    What nobody knows about it?
    Every year these people go to Russian consulates to confirm that they are still alive to keep receiving their pensions from Russia government.
    A lot of charity things that these people get as help from Americans they sent to Russia to sell and make money.
    America is too kind to these people who have no respect to the USA.

    by: joe from: here
    December 05, 2013 2:20 PM
    This is the u.s. governments fault for not verifying incomes!!! Especially department HEADS who certainly make alit if money!!! It's no wonder we look like idiots all around the world!!! Buyin f n shoes from choo choo and expensive JEWelry??? What a joke. Heads should roll for this. AGAIN MY TAX MONEY BEING PROFESSIONALLY MISMANAGED FOR PROFIT!!! I'm gonna quit payin tax to these pigs soon as I can. MAGGOTS LAZY AND RUDE!!!
    In Response

    by: Hahahaha from: There
    December 05, 2013 3:48 PM
    It's the U.S. Governments fault that they accepted, as proof of income, documents that came "from officials at the Russian U.N. mission, as well as from former top officials at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York and the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation"?!

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