Dozens In L.A., New York Arrested In Massive Medicare Fraud Ring

NEW YORK (AP) — A vast network of Armenian gangsters and their associates used phantom health care clinics and other means to try to cheat Medicare out of $163 million, the largest fraud by one criminal enterprise in the program’s history, U.S. authorities said Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors in New York and elsewhere charged 73 people. Most of the defendants were captured during raids Wednesday morning in New York City and Los Angeles, but there also were arrests in New Mexico, Georgia and Ohio.

The scheme’s scope and sophistication “puts the traditional Mafia to shame,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a Manhattan news conference. “They ran a veritable fraud franchise.”

The operation was under the protection of an Armenian crime boss, known in the former Soviet Union as a “vor,” prosecutors said. The reputed boss, Armen Kazarian, was in custody in Los Angeles.

Southern Californians charged in three separate indictments include Pogos Satamyan, of Glendale; Vachagan Dishchian, of Van Nuys; Vahe Dischian, of Van Nuys; Andranik Satamyan, of Glendale; Haroutyoun Dischian, of Van Nuys; Grisha Sayadyan, of Glendale and Allen Sayadyan, of Glendale. Three more suspects are at large.

Bharara said it was the first time a vor — “the rough equivalent of a traditional godfather” — had been charged in a U.S. racketeering case.

Kazarian and other defendants were to appear in court later Wednesday on charges including racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

Authorities began the investigation after information on 2,900 Medicare patients in upstate New York — including Social Security numbers and dates of birth — were reported stolen.

The defendants also had stolen the identities of doctors and set up 118 phantom clinics in 25 states, authorities said. The names were used to submit fake bills for care that was never given, they said.

Prosecutors said the phony paperwork showed eye doctors doing bladder tests; ear, nose and throat specialists performing pregnancy ultrasounds; and obstetricians testing for skin allergies.

Unlike other cases involving crooked medical clinics bribing people to sign up for unneeded treatments, the operation was “completely notional,” Janice Fedarcyk, head of the FBI’s New York office, said in a statement. “The whole doctor-patient interaction was a mirage.”

In the New York portion of the case, more $100 million in fraudulent bills were submitted and Medicare paid out at least $35 million, investigators said.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Rob W

    Are Armenians any better than illegals?
    Of course not
    All ethnicities have their share

  • parcher

    nothing will happen here. just like those rabbis who got caught in jersey selling human kidneys, this will just go away and fade. how, pay offs. this will silence the media for sure.

  • oscer mayer winnerlofe


  • oscer mayer winnerlofe

    pneedleman eat my sweaty ball sack

  • take our city back

    they are a vile people. they have no sense of civic responsibility. their behavior is just absolutely deplorable i’m still trying to wrap my head around how they walk thinking they have a free pass to be rude and obnoxious to everyone. none of them are really tough as they make themselves out to be.

    • Reader

      It is arrogant of you to generalize. Please grab a newspaper or turn on the news. See how many crimes are committed in the Los Angeles county, daily. Then come back and say how many of those were committed by Armenians. Generalizing an entire ethnic group, doesn’t seem correct. I can name many people who are non-Armenains who act just the same way. Maybe you need to broaden your horizons and meet others who act the same. Then you will learn that there are good and bads in every culture.

    • WaLLy

      The Armenians I know are polite,kind, giving and generous
      When you look at someone that hard and hate
      it may be a mirrors reflection of your
      poor manners and attitude

    • ffff

      @take our city back
      Don’t generalize, you little prick!!!

  • brave new world

    No due diligence. Government is responsible!!!

  • Armen Akopian

    “pneedlemann” ———–> looser, hater, and low life? get a life and stop publicizing generalized racial comments. Perhaps, u shall clean up your dirty spirit… u 2 “tad” nd “Rob W”. People with your mentality and” cowardenss” are the ones who lag America behind. Gotta have something to say to someone? Say it on the face if u have the guts (of course u don’t).

    • Rob W

      If you READ
      I think you can COMPREHEND
      My POINT was
      We are all EQUAL
      Good and Bad in ALL peoples
      Thank you

  • Mikey

    The Turks know how to deal with them.

    • gary g

      How dare you make such an insulting comment you ignorant simpleton! You would not have the balls to say that face to face with an Armenian. Turks got away with genocide and land grabbing, NEVER AGAIN! so keep your stupidity to yourself or use your full name tough Guy!

      • Ignorant Fool

        I guess you didn’t look up what Armenians did to others in Azerbaijan
        I guess you can’t consider it genocide
        Just mass murder

      • WaHabe

        Never Again, we said after 1918
        Yet it happened again WW2
        and again Bosnia and again Dafur
        and continues

    • Jeffro

      The Turks are the most disgusting people on the planet. They’re responsible for the genocide of several ethnic groups. Fuk the Turks.

      • Rob W

        You don’t bring up the fact how the Armenians treated Turks yrs before
        Look it up
        Both sides are killers

  • Shant K

    I’m Armenian and I agree with all the anti-Armenian sentiments. I’ve been so embarrassed over and over again with my culture. Most Armenians need to realize they aren’t back in their old countries and respect their new land, and if they don’t like it they should go back. Personally I’ve abandoned my culture and adopted the American lifestyle.

    • Reader

      I am glad you have adapted the American lifestle, as have I, but to agree with the others who bash your ethnicity isn’t correct. Armenians just like others do act out of line many times, but look at the news, how many other ethnicities do you see charged with crimes. You know what is going on in your ethnic group, because you are part of the culture, you hear about Armenians acting up, from your peers. Imagine you lived in a city full of another ethnic group, you would see their wrong doings and hear about their unfavorable acts. But it is sad to read that you agree with others who bash your ethnic group. Think about the Armenian history and how hard your ancestors have fought for you to be here today.

    • Shantik

      Shant go stuff yourr face with falafel so you can shut

      • Shantik


    • xxxxxxxxxian

      You can be American and proud of your culture
      Just be thoughtful and courteous towards others

    • Hovo

      You are a trader in spirit. Go hang yourself. You should change your name to Shawnty you prick!

      • H&H

        We need more people like Shant K


      You don’t deserve to be an ARMENIAN anyway because you don’t know who Armenians are. Learn some history and you will learn that till today the whole world is using many inventions made by ARMENIAN geniuses. There are so many ARMENIAN talents being appreciated all over the world. Shame on you and your parents for not knowing who you are and where you come from.

    • Tigran

      Poor you…. If one is embarassed by his roots, he is jus no one…. Change your name, you do not deserve to have such a good Armenian name. Idiot!!!

    • MGT

      shant why do you even call yourself an Armenian? Call yourself a turk so you won’t be embarresed of us…

  • Narine

    In every culture there is good and bad people. you dont have a right to talk about armenians that way. First start knowing them then start talking. You dont have permission to talk about armenians that way. So if you dont know anything then dont talk. Im armenian and im proud to be one. And you have to say sorry for saying something so rude.

  • Bill from 91302

    Hi Kim and Kourtney!

  • Shant K

    Typical Armenians that have their head in the sand. You aren’t really being honest with yourself. I mean, yes, not ALL Armenians are the rude ones in Burbank and Glendale but there’s enough of them to make the rest of us look bad. And therefore we shouldn’t be shocked when odars (non-Armenians) have a negative view of us. I mean you all sound so self righteous about Armenians when you’re posting in an article about how a gang of Armenians just pulled a multi-million dollar fraud scheme. Come to grips with the fact that our culture as a whole isn’t as great as some of us were brought up to think it was.

    • H&H

      Extremeism, Nationalism
      It all leads to hate
      Free Palestine from Zionist, who should know better
      You put someone in a cage for 61 yrs
      you aren’t taming them

    • Hovo

      Get your head out of the sand you fake poser.

  • Ari

    wow, such racism. and this great ol country has progressed?

  • Shank K

    Hovo, I’m not a “trader” I’m just a realist. Btw, I love how all the other Armenians that have posted have so many spelling and grammatical errors. It’s so stupid that I’m expected to love my culture simply because I was born into it. Frankly I was raised in the US and I identify with that culture way more than the Armenian culture, and people that can’t appreciate that should leave and go back to where they came from.

    • Hovo

      This isn’t a spelling bee you fruit. You were probably a teachers pet growing up and picked on as a kid. Don’t try to escape who you are. Try to contribute what you can to the community to make it better. Coward!

    • Tigran

      Shant, I feel sorry for you. Honestly… I think your parents should be embarassed by what they have raised. You are just an ignorant idiot who betrays his own nationality and roots, simply because it is easier and more comfortable to bend and adapt to new rules completely forgeting who you are. Commenting on grammatical errors in posts is just pathetic and loser strategy… Honestly, Shant, change your name and become something less meaningful, which will help you integrate in that society even more…

      • WaHabe

        Culture is not Nationality
        Freedom is not Ignorance

  • Shirley

    I am of Armenian descent and I can truly say that some of the Glendale Armenians have disgraced all ‘hyes.’

  • Robin R

    I am not Armenian. I live in Tujunga, CA above Glendale. I understand the comments regarding the fact that SOME armenian individuals are rude and hold themselves away from the other cultures of the area. However… I have met and appreciated some Armenians who were wonderful people. People who believed in God and followed the rules of this country and believed and honored America. As with all cultures there are good and there are bad. It isn’t fair to judge a whole culture by the actions of some. I DO understand however, the frustration of those who deal with the rude Armenians who think themselves better than the rest of us. We ARE all American’s and they should show the proper respect for all of us. That is what makes us a great country.

    • Hoken

      No one beats the French for rude

    • Unity

      Americans should come together as diverse group
      not a divided group

      United We Stand

  • gina

    I agree with Shant K. These people are smart but don’t know how to put their brains to good use….Just think what they could accomplish if they went to school and made something of themselves. I am embarrassed to be Armenian

    • Mike

      Every race has some bad ones. What can you do?

    • MGT

      gina don’t be embarressed just change your name because believe me WE Armenians don’t need a looser like you

  • Phil

    Armenian, Italians, Russian, Serbs, Israeli
    Irish, Sicilian, Ukrainian, Chinese,Filipino,Mexican
    Korean,Japanese Yakuza, Nigerian, Haitian
    You could list the whole UN
    It’s no biggie

  • James K

    15 years ago it was Auto insurance fraud
    7 years ago it’s Real Estate mortgage / appraisal fraud

  • G Wessington

    The amazing disappearing posts
    So much for freedom of speech
    Reading the ridiculous was entertaining
    but agree that some people incite and fuel hate

  • Grady

    Many of the Armenians I know are in their 40’s, live with Mom & sell Nose Candy to put a roof over moms head. You knock on their door to try and create a peaceful resolution and they go 3rd world on you while MOM clutches her chest like Fred Sanford.

    • WaLLy

      Well you must know the wrong people

    • gina

      this is sooooo funny! I am Armenian and I can’t stop laughing..hahahaheeee!. What wit you have

    • BOBB-E

      You knock on door to buy Nose Candy?

  • Ryder

    Azerbaijan and Armenia
    At the end of World War I, it was the turn of the Turks of Azerbaijan to be attacked. Allied with Bolsheviks in Baku, Armenian nationalist forced nearly half of the Turkish population of Baku to flee the city. Between 8 and 10,000 Muslims, almost all Turks, were killed in Baku alone. The Armenian guerilla leader Andranik destroyed villages in Nahçivan and Southern Azerbaijan, forcing more than 60,000 Turkish refugees to flee.
    420 villages were destroyed. Hundreds of villages were ruined and many thousand more Turks were killed in Kars Province. Two-thirds of the Turks of Erivan Province disappeared. Turks took revenge in Baku and elsewhere, but it was Turks who most suffered mortality and exile.

    • MGT

      ryder where do you get this cartoon information. Because per real history that is not what happened. why don’t you take a real book and read real history.

  • OJ

    What do you get when you combine:

    4 Butterball Turkeys

    2 Potato Sacks

    2 Halloween Wigs?


  • mike

    should have let the turks finish the job

    armenians espically the ones in GLENDALE who rip off everyone and drive like idiots

    their women are ugly fat hairy beasts

    they all are on medi cal and suck from the system

    they demand to be taken to the er for a runny nose

    • garyg

      Dear Mike, I don’t know if I should hate you or feel sorry. I think I will just pity you. You know how beautiful Armenian women are! You wish they would even glance your way, but since they don’t its not fair to put them down. Just like we shouldn’t put you for being a fat, unemployed, ugly, ignorant boy who can’t get beautiful women. So since I am a law abiding, polite, intelligent, professional Armenian man I wont dwell on your short comings. Why is it that the ignorant bash an entire race for the crimes of some individuals. Its about those individuals who commited the crime, the Armenian people didn’t. Oh and for your reference to the genocide, God help you boy.

    • Reader

      Mike, it is very arrogant of you to generalize an entire ethnic group. Considering you have grown up here in the US and have watched the news countless times, I am sure you have seen articles about all races. You are promoting genocide, which is sicknening. Whatever ethnicity you happen to be, think of all the cases you have witnessed where acts were committed by your own race. Would it be correct to say, your race should have been killed, due to those individuals. I don’t think so. How many times do you watch the news and there are crimes committed by Whites, Blacks, Asians, or whoever. I am an Armenian rasied in the US, and do believe everybody should obey the laws in the US since we live here. But to promote genocide, you are a bit naive and arrogant.

    • Freud

      Sorry you’ve had such a poor life experience.
      You must really hate yourself , its called transferance.
      One day you will wake up and either
      Become what you hate, or love what you once hated

    • Sam

      Haha. Learn to spell-Especially
      Armenian known as most beautiful women in the world
      mike you only have one brain cell,
      damaged as it is

    • Nune

      You sound like a lowlife c..t, You probably prefer Turkish men I guess.

      • Nune

        This comment was for armenian women hating Mike btw

    • MGT

      why mike? did an Armenian lady turn you down? Are you burnt from them or your wife is too ugly?

  • S & S

    The news media always talks about a lot of other ethnic groups who commit different kinds of crimes on a daily basis including: Robbery, Kidnapping, Rape, Murder and etc. Why is it such a big issue when the Armenians are on the news once in a while and why is everyone generalizing them. It is not fair.

    • Sam

      It’s called equal opportunity bashing?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live