Armenia Nationals Charged in Medicare Fraud to Be Tried by U.S Law

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)—Armenia has confirmed that its nationals arrested in the United States last week on charges stemming from a large-scale medical insurance fraud will be tried overseas and by American law.

Officials in Yerevan do not yet reveal how many of about three dozen arrested members of a criminal syndicate charged with filing some $100 million in fake claims to Medicare, are citizens of Armenia.

In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Tuesday Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian only said that “based on the available evidence they [Armenian citizens] do not constitute a large percentage.”

“Every person is tried in the country where he or she has committed a crime,” added Danielian.

He explained that Armenia could have performed the functions of prosecuting the members of the criminal group who are citizens of Armenia, had they been arrested in Armenia.

“Were these persons in the Republic of Armenia, we would not be obliged to extradite them. We would request the files concerning them and conduct a probe,” the minister added.

The Office of the Armenian Prosecutor-General recently expressed its readiness to assist in the investigation of the case.

It says in the case in question Armenia can only assist in the investigation, if necessary, by means of investigative measures in the territory of Armenia, by sending specialists to the United States or in some other form.

“We have not received any request for legal assistance yet,” Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Tuesday.

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4 Comments

  1. INSIDER said:

    Breaking the law is wrong no matter who does it. Crime is crime & it happens in every ethnic group. 350 Billion dollars was siphoned out of the wall street, banks and mortgages – I didn’t see any ethnic group names attached to the news articles and broadcasts & I wonder who controls the wall street & banks!

    As an Armenian American, instead of wasting time I sent emails and called news organizations and protested attaching an entire ethnic group to a single criminal activity – Dook el sovorek.

    Further, most of the dessimination of the news and nasty comments were part of large organized propoganda organization created by the Azeri government with assistance from a strong lobby group in DC connected to a middleastern country paid with large Azeri petro dollars. The organization was created about a year ago with multiple agendas, among them it has full time employees scanning media on armenian articles and starts either impersonating Armenians or uses multiple screen names, or uses specific software robo generated comments and posts comments to create division and isolation – this will fail. We counter this organization as should others by refuting statements attributed to our community and inform the website and readers in comments about the organization posting comments, using softwares. If anyone posts anything derogatory, impersonating Aremanian, we immediately post comments refuting the negative comments attributed to our community. We haven’t survived all the major empires in history to be moved by childish sandbox propaganda organization created by embezzeling the Azeri petro dollars. Hopefully this organization will give up on this tactic, or the source of funding and the name of the lobbying group in DC connected to a midddleeastern country will be exposed publically so the lobbying group could be ashamed of assisting the Azeri’s against Armenians by a lobbying group that it’s people share similar history with Armenians!

    • Julia Avakyan said:

      We have to stop blaming Azeris, Turks, Russians and Americans, for that matter, every time we are in trouble. While I am not excluding the possibility that Azeris played a big role in making this whole thing inflate online and in papers, I do not think it is the main issue that we have to focus on here. The fact of the matter is that this all has happened, and 99% of the defendants (to the best of my knowledge) are, IN FACT, Armenians. Had this been an isolated event, I would have totally agreed with you. But one has to be blind not to acknowledge that fraud is widely spread in our community in Glendale.
      Yes, it is wrong to tie the whole ethnic group to the acts of few. And yes, enrons of the world, big bad banks, and Italian mafia do exist and they are equally bad. But for once, we have to stop pointing fingers at all the “other children” in the neighborhood who are acting as badly. For once, we have to stop the blame game, take full responsibility, and acknowledge that this type of activity is no news in our community… provided, we care enough to make a difference.

  2. Armenian man said:

    I guess Julia does not know too much about the law of this country. It goes like this; you are not guilty until proven guilty by the court of law. Now the reason I say this is because I have been in the medical field before and the things I have seen no 9 to 5 person sees which is majority of the American people. The way the Medicare system is set up is to have the big people do fraud and get away with it and those that are not protected by the big corporations go through what these guys are going through, and yes many of these guys will walk away without any charges… So Medicare has many contracted companies managing the billing system, in California it’s called CMS. So for each claim CMS pays for services rendered they make a commission on it. Let’s say you bill $1 to CMS, CMS will pay you a $1 and charge Medicare $1.10. With this in mind why does CMS want to stop fraud??? They make big bucks on the claims. They will be stupid to say anything to the Feds… The reason I wrote this is to educate a little about the Medicare program and have people not to write negative comments about the Armenian people. It breaks my heart to see another Armenian writing a negative comment. This was made to make us Armenians look bad to the world and the reason is that we are moving up in the world too fast, but one thing the world does not know is that we are so good at pulling another Armenian down when they are moving up. So please specially the 9 to 5 people do not write any comment, because you do not know anything about what’s going in the country!! You are nothing but a smart robot… I just wish we were like Jews…

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