A former Newport Beach physician who faked his own death to avoid a fraud prosecution will spend 29 months in prison. Prosecutors charged Tigran Svadjian with insurance fraud in 2002. The charges stemmed from $2.4 million in fraudulent Medi-Cal claims.
Prosecutors agreed to let Svadjian travel to Moscow to see his ailing mother. After Svadjian left the country, Russian officials notified the State Department that Svadjian had died while in Moscow and was cremated. Federal prosecutors dropped the charges against Svadjian.
The case reemerged when Russian authorities arrested Svadjian last year as he tried to re-enter the country on a forged Lithuanian passport. He had been living in Egypt, and worked as a scuba instructor. US federal agents traveled to Russia to escort Svadjian back to the United States, where he was charged with fleeing.
Svadjian told federal investigators that he paid a Russian police officer about $200 to issue a fake death certificate. Federal prosecutors destroyed evidence from the case against Svadjian because they believed he was dead. Instead, they charged him with unlawful flight from prosecution, which is a five-year felony.
Prosecutors said that the original fraud charges had a five-year statute of limitations. It is unclear whether the statute of limitations was suspended when Svadjian left the country. Prosecutors said that they would not reinstate the fraud charges against him.
Federal Fraud Lawyer
Federal prosecutions are rarely straightforward, but the federal government doesn’t give up easily. If you’re facing federal fraud charges, hiring an experienced fraud lawyer is your best bet. Robert Helfend practices criminal defense, and has 30 years of experience. He takes both federal and state cases, and will work to ensure you receive the best possible representation in court.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney to provide the best possible defense. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273- 5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County fraud case.
Photo Credit: Dennis, via Flickr.com