Armenian vor Armen Kazarian nabbed on Medicare fraud charges

Stylized computer-graphic depiction of the Medicare logo.

Armen Kazarian is alleged to be responsible for the largest-ever Medicare fraud racket. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Medicare DMEPOS Surety Bond)

Many Americans 65 and older depend upon Medicare for their health insurance coverage. Thus, when a criminal like Armen Kazarian preys upon the weak and vulnerable with a Medicare scam, the scale of outrage is tremendous. According to the New York Post, Armenian gangster vor (equivalent to a Mafia godfather) Armen Kazarian was recently arrested along with dozens of cohorts for a “smorgasbord” of offenses including “the largest-ever Medicare fraud by a single crime syndicate.”

Armen Kazarian’s coast-to-coast operation

More than $160 million in fake Medicare invoices were generated from 118 fake medical clinics in 25 states under Armen Kazarian’s watch, said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. The vast majority of the supposed clinics were rented Mail Boxes, Etc. addresses. All told, more than $35 million in taxpayer money went toward the fake bills Kazarian’s men generated out of an office above a Brooklyn, N.Y., auto-body business. Things like this can drive people on fixed income to short term loans.

Extortion, disembowelment and money laundering

Charges have been filed in California, Georgia, New Mexico and Ohio against a total of 73 defendants, writes the Post. Noted among the defendants is Robert Terdjanian, 35, of Brooklyn. He was allegedly the East Coast ringleader of Armen Kazarian’s gang, and charges against him include threatening to disembowel one of his extortion victims. Davit Mirzoyan of Los Angeles is alleged to have been in control of other illegal operations for which the Kazarian group is being charged, including sale of illegal narcotics, untaxed cigarettes and Viagra. Also in the realm of insurance, Aron Chervin is accused of recruiting strippers to file bogus automotive insurance claims. Various suspects are accused of money laundering via the purchase of Las Vegas casino chips.

The tale of the tape

Reportedly the first vor ever charged with racketeering in the United States, Armen Kazarian, 46, was surreptitiously recorded by federal authorities making threats against those Medicare patients who failed to pay his racket’s fake medical bills. Attorneys for the accused have indicated that their Armenian clients plan to plead not guilty on all charges.


New York Post

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