The reputed head of a vast network of Armenian gangsters has pleaded guilty in New York to racketeering charges.
Armen Kazarian entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan on Friday. Kazarian was accused of being the boss of a network of criminals who used bogus health care clinics and other means to try to cheat Medicare out of $163 million.
When the FBI announced the charges in October 2010, they had said that it was the largest fraud by one criminal enterprise in the program's history.
The 47-year-old Glendale, Calif., resident could face up to 20 years in prison.
Kazarian, is alleged to be a "Vor," a term translated as "Thief-in-Law." The term "Vor" refers to a member of a select group of high-level criminals from Russia and the countries that had been part of the former Soviet Union, including Armenia. This is the first time a Vor has ever been charged and arrested for federal racketeering crimes.
Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 6.
Viewed 10094 times Armenian Prime Minister Declares Level Playing Field…But Wife’s Businesses Appear Exempt
Viewed 4874 times Op-Ed: No Criminal Investigation into Brawl Involving State Officials
Viewed 2865 times Armenian Soldier Arrested in Investigation of the Death of Another Soldier
Viewed 2728 times Photo Story: Russia is Largest Market for Artsakh Fruit and Vegetables
Viewed 2488 times Armenian MP Cites Hetq Article in Call for Change to Officer Housing Assistance Law
Viewed 2428 times 19 Year-Old Armenian Soldier Dies From Gunshot to the Head