US investigators have exposed a network of Armenian gangsters and their associates who have gained the American medical insurance system and received $35.7 million in payments, BBC reports.
The group of 73, most of whom are of Armenian origin, are accused of setting up some 118 clinics across the US, most of which existed only on paper or were “nothing more than shams, shells, and storefronts”, said US Attorney Preet Bharar. “In terms of profitability, geographic scope, and sheer ambition, this emerging international organised crime syndicate would be the envy of any traditional mafia family,” he said.
Officials say some of the proceeds from the operation were couriered back to Armenia in cash.
A Facebook friend said today: “I am proud to be Armenian and not embarrassed of my culture! Those who embarrassed us yesterday, they are tiny part of culture. Let’s learn a lesson from this…”
Well, sorry… I can’t feel proud, not today… More than anything, this story is a huge blow to the image and authority of the Armenian Diaspora in the USA, which has been considered an affluent and respected community, which has built its reputation by a century of hard work.
Such a pity…