Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Eurasian organized crime loots public coffers

Well placed government sources claim that the government loses $300 billion a year in healthcare fraud - with about half of this figure being stolen from immigrant gangs - many of whom hail from the former Soviet Union.

Troy Anderson of the LA Daily News reports on one small part of the overall problem:

Lana Michael and her husband collected welfare benefits in 2003, claiming they earned less than $24,000.

But authorities say Michael, the former office manager of a job-training center for immigrant welfare recipients, also owned a liquor store and recycling business.

And, authorities say, she drove a $76,000 luxury car, shopped at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue and had $147,980 stashed in her bedroom dresser.

Lana Michael is also known as Svetlana Djangarian was part of an elaborate scheme, where welfare to work checks were issued from the inside and cashed using fake ID. Fraudulent tax returns were also filed.

Daily news story, here.

No wonder programs designed to help the less fortunate are in trouble!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's rampant among the Armenian community in Southern California and these people are giving honest, hardworking Armenians a bad name. I am Armenian, raised in Canada, and recently moved to the San Fernando Valley. The stigma, created by these criminals, will be a burden for future generations to overcome. I was at a church function and met a journalist who told me about just one of the peoplehe will be exposing in an upcoming article that he is writing. In Studio City, Armen and Karine Gasparian were arrested last year. After a plea agreement, only the wife was convicted - score one (or half of one) for the good guys. These were just another example of this crime - don't these people care that they are taking money from kids who really need it and stealing from the country that gave them a home? I am just happy that some of these criminals a so stupid enough to get caught.