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Dec 5, 2013 5:39 PM by Juice Godfrey

US: Russian diplomats cheated health care program

NEW YORK (AP) - More than three dozen Russian diplomats and their spouses living in New York City are charged in a $1.5 million fraud of a government health program for the poor.

Authorities say the fraud was carried out even as the diplomats and their spouses were enjoying luxury vacations and buying fancy clothing and top-line electronics.

The diplomats were charged in a complaint unsealed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.

The complaint alleges that the defendants systematically submitted fraudulent applications for medical benefits for pregnancies, births and care for young children. Federal prosecutors say the diplomats under-reported their income on the applications so that they would qualify for Medicaid benefits.

A message left with Russian officials at the UN was not immediately returned.

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