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2 fugitives accused of Medicare fraud may be in Glendale, U.S. says

February 20, 2013|By Chad Terhune
  • Federal investigators say Anush Sahakyan, above, and Karo Gotti Blkhoyan fraudulently billed Medicare for $1.3 million.
Federal investigators say Anush Sahakyan, above, and Karo Gotti Blkhoyan… (U.S. Department of Health…)

Federal authorities say two of Medicare's most-wanted fugitives may be hiding out in Glendale.

Healthcare investigators say Karo Gotti Blkhoyan, 32, and Anush Sahakyan, 29, set up a phony medical clinic in South Carolina from 2009 to 2010 and billed for $1.3 million in false claims. Medicare paid out more than $300,000.

The pair, indicted last year on charges including healthcare fraud and money laundering, used the stolen identities of Medicare patients in California and New York, officials said.

"We have information through witnesses that they are in the Glendale area," said Su Kim, a special agent in South Carolina with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general.

The inspector general's office launched its most-wanted list in 2011, and 41 fugitives have been captured thus far. There are more than 170 fugitives on the list, officials said.

The giant healthcare program has been a tempting target for criminals for years. Medicare processes about 2.9 million claims daily and 10,000 seniors join the rolls every day.

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