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.
x
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.

You May Like

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

This forum has been closed.
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"?!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More