Seven Charged With Stealing $252K in Medicaid Benefits by Lying About Income, Property & Assets
Roslyn Heights couple had over $2.3M in their bank account
MINEOLA, NY - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that seven people have been charged with stealing more than $252,000 in undeserved Medicaid benefits and food stamps by underreporting their income and failing to disclose millions of dollars worth of rental properties and businesses under their ownership. One Roslyn Heights couple received more than $88,000 in benefits, despite the fact that they owned three rental properties and a clothing business in the Bronx.
The cases were initially investigated and referred to the DA’s Office by the Nassau County Department of Social Services Special Investigations Unit.
“These defendants had millions in the bank and owned businesses and rented properties, yet still wanted more,” Rice said. “They greedily took advantage of a system designed to help those who are truly in need. My office will hold each and every one of these thieves accountable and ensure that every penny they stole is returned to the people of Nassau County. I want to thank the DSS Special Investigations Unit for their investigation and referral on this case.”
Charged in the most recent sweep are:
- Homa and Masoud Lovi, both 50, of Roslyn Heights. The Lovis were charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Rice said that between April 2002 and January 2010, Homa and Masoud Lovi intentionally underreported their personal income to the Nassau County Department of Social Services (DSS) so that they would qualify for taxpayer-funded Medicaid benefits. During that time period, the Lovis stole $88,932 in Medicaid benefits for themselves and their three children, according to DSS. The Lovis reported that Masoud was making between $2,000 and $2,500 a month as an employee of Studio 2180, a Bronx-based clothing company. In reality, Masoud Lovi owned Studio 2180. The couple also own three properties in Queens while collecting Medicaid, in addition to owning their home in Roslyn Heights. The couple’s bank records revealed more than $2.3 million of deposits into their account during the duration of the case. They are represented by Matin Emouna, Esq.
- Arely Sharifian, 37, and Shahron Solemani Sharifian, 39, of Hicksville, were arrested and both charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Rice said that between May 2002 and June 2009, the Sharifians received more than $53,000 in Medicaid benefits that they did not qualify for. The couple claimed to be earning between $10,704 and $15,600, when in reality, Mr. Sharifian owned his own business, Empire Video Productions. The couple also owned a second house from which they received rental income. During the alleged fraud period, the couple deposited $665,971 into bank accounts. They each face up to 15 years in prison. The Sharifians are represented by Robert McDonald, Esq.
- Marouza Parveen, 40, of Elmont, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Rice said that between January 2004 and August 2009, Parveen received $48,855 in Medicaid benefits that she and her family did not qualify for. She claimed her husband was earning $325 a week by working at a bagel store, when in reality she and her husband owned the business. Parveen also claimed that she paid monthly rent of $650 a month for her home, when in fact she and her husband owned their home and earned $2,400 a month in rental income by renting out the basement and second floor. She faces up to seven years in prison.
- Shmuel Cohen, 46, and Cheryl Cohen, 52, of Plainview, were arrested and charged with Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. Rice said that between May 2004 and March 2009, the Cohens received more than $28,000 in Medicaid benefits and more than $2,000 in food stamps that they did not qualify for. The couple failed to report income from Cheryl Cohen’s job at the North Shore Synagogue and ownership of two jewelry businesses. Shmuel Cohen had also failed to report $25,000 that he received from his mother’s estate. They each face up to seven years in prison and are represented by Robert Lucks, Esq.
In April 2007, Nassau County District Attorney Rice created the first Medicaid Fraud Unit within a DA’s office in New York State. To date, the unit has been responsible for 61 arrests and uncovered more than $3.5 million in fraud. More than $50 billion was allocated last year to pay for Medicaid, a public health insurance provider that is administered by the state and funded by taxpayer money.
“I want to commend the District Attorney for rooting out waste and fraud in Nassau County,” said County Executive Ed Mangano.
Assistant District Attorneys Andrew Weiss and Christine Burke of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau are handling the cases for the District Attorney's Office.