More than 50 suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon by Federal Authorities in what is suspected to be an Armenian-American organized crime ring that is set to defraud Medicare.
There were 73 people indicted by the Justice Department in New York, California, New Mexico, Ohio and Georgia, and of those, 52 have been taken into custody. It is believed that the suspects allegedly set out to defraud Medicare and other health programs of $163 million.
The group billed for services that were either unnecessary or never performed, from various clinics across the states. Most of the arrested were members of the Armenian group, but others were doctors, lawyers and patients. According to the Justice Department, the crime ring also staged accidents and filed false claims with insurance companies.
The charges against the group include fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, identity theft and immigration fraud. If convicted each suspect could face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison. The suspects will be tried in the states in which they were indicted. Three of the charged are still at large.