Six people in New York have been charged with fraud after allegedly hosting a long-running scheme that convinced women from Turkey to travel to the United States and give birth here. The people involved in the scheme told the women that their children would automatically receive citizenship if they were born in the United States. While they weren’t lying about the citizenship, they reportedly took advantage of the women’s situation to apply for over $2 million in fraudulent Medicaid claims.
How did the group commit Medicaid fraud?
According to media reports, the group charged the women thousands of dollars to move to the United States and be housed in one of their “birthing houses.” Once the women had moved to the U.S. and delivered their babies, the group allegedly used the women and children’s identities to make fraudulent Medicaid claims and said that the women were permanent New York residents who had no income. As a result, the group collected over $2 million in Medicaid payouts.
In truth, the women weren’t eligible for Medicaid because they are citizens of Turkey. Through a wiretap investigation, federal officials reportedly heard one of the people involved in the scheme admitting that they used the women to commit fraud. The individuals have been charged with multiple white-collar crimes, including fraud and money laundering. If convicted, each individual faces at least 10 years in prison. Since Medicaid is paid by taxpayers, the millions of dollars that they are said to have stolen will probably not be reimbursed.
What can you do if you’re accused of a white-collar crime?
The term white-collar crime involves a wide range of charges. Common forms of white-collar crime include identity theft, embezzlement, extortion, bribery, insider trading, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, tax evasion and pyramid schemes. Any one of these charges could result in years of jail time.
If you’re being charged with a white-collar crime, an attorney may work to help you secure the best possible outcome. Your attorney may be able to help you clear your name and get back to running your business.