Top 10 of the Week follows this report on Medicare Fraud:
Leader of Armenian Organized Crime Ring Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 37 Months in Prison for His Role in $100 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Armen Kazarian was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 37 months in prison for his involvement with the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian Organization, an Armenian-American organized crime enterprise engaged in a wide range of criminal activity. Kazarian pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy in July 2011 and was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “Armen Kazarian sat at the top of a criminal organization and now he will sit in a jail cell for a long time. International mobsters who think they can export their criminal enterprises to the United States and target our government programs and our citizens are in for a rude awakening—they will face U.S. justice and be made to answer for their crimes.”
According to the indictment, other documents filed in this case, and statements made during the guilty plea proceeding:
Kazarian was a “Vor,” a term translated as “Thief-in-Law.” The term refers to a member of a select group of high-level criminals from Russia and the countries that had been part of the former Soviet Union, including Armenia. Vors offer prestige and protection to criminal organizations in return for a share of criminal earnings and use their position of authority to resolve disputes among criminals. Kazarian used his status as a Vor within the criminal community to assist the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian Organization, an Armenian-American organized crime ring that engaged in an extensive range of criminal offenses including the operation of a $100 million Medicare fraud billing ring. As part of his involvement with the group, Kazarian engaged in extortion on the organization’s and his own behalf.
* * *
In addition to the prison term, Judge Gardephe sentenced Kazarian, 47, of Glendale, California, to three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay a $60,000 fine.
Mr. Bharara thanked the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the New York City Police Department; the New York Field Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and the New York Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services for their work in the investigation.
The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer Burns, Arlo Devlin-Brown, and Harris Fischman are in charge of the prosecution.
New York: Bangladeshi National Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Bomb New York Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis admitted to attempting to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb on behalf of al Qaeda. Full Story
Jacksonville: Three Indicted in Florida A&M University Hacking Case
Carl Joseph Coutard, Carliss Pereira, and Christopher J. Wright were charged with conspiring to access the iRattler computer system at the Florida A&M University in order to divert financial aid money to themselves. Full Story
Cleveland: Sixteen People Sentenced for Religiously Motivated Assaults on Practitioners of the Amish Religion
The convictions stemmed from five separate assaults that occurred in four Ohio counties in which the defendants forcibly removed beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes. Full Story
Washington: Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Charges in Shooting of Security Guard at Family Research Council
Floyd Lee Corkins, II targeted the organization because of its views, including its advocacy against recognition of gay marriage, and entered the building with the intention of shooting and killing as many employees as he could. Full Story
Atlanta: Thirteen Charged in Sex Trafficking and Prostitution Ring Operating in Savannah
In total, 25 defendants have now been charged for their roles in an alleged sex trafficking and prostitution ring stretching from Mexico to Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, and elsewhere.Full Story
Philadelphia: Charges Allege $311 Million Global Hedge Fund Fraud Scheme
Helmut Kiener and John C. Tausche, business associates in the hedge fund management industry, were charged with defrauding institutional investors. Full Story
Newark/New Haven/New York/Philadelphia: Eighteen People Charged in International $200 Million Credit Card Fraud Scam
The defendants allegedly fabricated identities to obtain credits cards and doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards to then borrow or spend as much as they could based on their fraudulently obtained credit history and not repay the debts. Full Story
San Diego: Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Unapproved Cancer Drugs
Martin Paul Bean, III admitted to conspiring to import unapproved foreign oncology drugs and sell them to doctors throughout the United States. Full Story
Cincinnati: Man Charged with 20 Counts of Producing Child Pornography
James O. Napier was accused of producing child pornography that involved an 11-month-old infant and an approximately 9-year-old child. Full Story
Dallas: Cherokee County Individuals Arrested on Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Eleven individuals were charged in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy. Full Story