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Lavrov curious why US waited 10 years to accuse Russian diplomats of cheating Medicaid

December 14, 2013, 2:40 UTC+3 14
According to the investigators, Russian diplomats understated their incomes and used the US citizenship of their children
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© Новодережкин Антон/ИТАР-ТАСС

MOSCOW, December 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said he is curious why it took the United States ten years to charge some current and former Russian diplomats and their spouses of cheating in order to get health care services, including childbirth assistance under the Medicaid program.

“If there is evidence some diplomat has abused the laws of the host country, what is the reason for waiting ten years?” Lavrov said in an interview on the Rossiya-24 round-the-clock TV news channel. “The issue has been cooking since 2004. Possibly, they just wished to have on record as many cases as possible to make the figure look more impressive. Had they told us back in 2004 that some of our staff wish to get something they are not entitled to, possibly, we should have had things sorted out with such people on our own. But they preferred to compile a list of half a hundred names first. Possibly to make the charges sound louder. They waited for ten years.”

An attorney’s office in New York early this month brought charges against a group of current and former Russian diplomats, as well as their spouses, to accuse them of cheating in order to get medical insurance on beneficial terms.

According to the investigators, Russian diplomats understated their incomes and used the US citizenship of their children as a reason to apply for and get pregnancy and childbirth benefits, thus defrauding the US health care program for the poor, Medicaid, of 1.5 million dollars. According to the findings of the probe the Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out over the past eighteen months, the violations in question occurred in 2004 through August 2013.

The full version of Lavrov’s interview will be aired on the Rossiya-24 channel in daytime on Saturday, December 14.

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