A man described as the ‘godfather’ of Armenian crime accepted a major deal from prosecutors.
Armen Kazarian, 47, ran a Medicare scam that the the head of the FBI’s New York division called “diabolical” and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said was a “veritable fraud franchise” that “puts the traditional Mafia to shame.”
Kazarian faced life in prison, but will probably serve no more than three years under his new agreement.
“This thing was overblown from the beginning,” defense lawyer Mark Geragos said as the deal was approved by a Federal District Judge.
Kazarian, identified by the Armenian title of “Vor,” was arrested in an October takedown of dozens of alleged Armenian gangsters charged with creating 118 “phantom” medical clinics across 25 states.
The gang was suspected of billing Medicare for more than $100 million in a scheme that also involved stealing patient’s and doctor’s identities.
Kazarian pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for a recommended jail sentence of 30 to 37 months.
U.S. Attorney Bharara was extremely happen with the verdict.
“Today, crime boss Armen Kazarian becomes the first known Vor to have been convicted of racketeering, but he will not be the last,” he stated.
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Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/07/09/2011-07-09_armenian_mobsters_soft_plea_deal.html#ixzz1RntmiuTT