Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beneficia grata

But not the diplomats;
Most of the 49 Russian diplomats and their family members accused of illegally receiving $1.5 million in health insurance benefits in the United States have returned already to Russia, investigators in the case said.
....The Russian diplomats and family members are accused of providing falsified evidence of income that significantly understated their income in order to receive medical benefits in the U.S.
....U.S. law enforcement agencies said they were tipped off when they identified unusually large number of applications for medical benefits from Russian diplomatic institutions in New York.
All of the applications were for assistance provided to the needy in the U.S. during pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. According to the indictment, from 2004 to 2013, 63 children were born to Russian diplomats, and the parents of 58 of them (or 92 percent) requested and received financial assistance under Medicaid.
To which the Russians say, 'We stole them, fair and square.'
Russian diplomatic sources say the accusations are politically motivated or even a provocation. One Russian diplomatic source said it is usual international practice for the authorities to go to the diplomatic mission directly with all questions regarding foreign diplomats. In some cases the problems are solved after some clarification, in others the necessary steps are taken.
"All problematic issues are solved at the diplomatic level. But to watch them break the law for nine years, as they write, and not to raise any questions, and then suddenly come with an accusation – this is politics," Kommersant quoted the source as saying.
If it were, the American people wouldn't have to read about it in Russian newspapers.

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