First on CNN: Sources: Diplomatic fraud ring also spied
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, discusses the charges at a news conference.
December 9th, 2013
08:41 AM ET

First on CNN: Sources: Diplomatic fraud ring also spied

By Evan Perez

This is a Russian spy ring that would embarrass Anna Chapman.

Justice Department prosecutors last week filed charges against what they say is a group of current and former Russian diplomats who allegedly ran a nine-year scheme that bilked $1.5 million from Medicaid, the U.S. health benefits program for the poor.

But CNN has learned that there's a spy angle to this case. Federal counterintelligence investigators say they believe some of the alleged participants in the fraud scheme were also engaged in espionage, sources tell CNN. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were on the trail of the alleged spies for some time, sources say. But in the end, the Justice Department decided to bring only the fraud charges.

There are 49 people charged in the case - 25 current and former Russian diplomats and 24 of their spouses. But only 11 of them remain in the U.S. and all have diplomatic immunity. So unless the Russian government waives their immunity - which is unlikely - they can't be arrested. Instead, the State Department is expected to seek to have them sent home.

The case comes amid some tensions in U.S.-Russian relations over a variety of issues, from Syria and Iran to the Russian asylum granted to former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Counterintelligence officials say Russian spying activity in the U.S. is back to near Cold War levels.

In 2010, the FBI rounded up a group of Russian sleeper agents who were part of what the U.S. called the Illegals Program. Ten people who posed as academics and business people were arrested, including Anna Chapman, now 31 years old. She posed as an entrepreneur and socialite, and garnered the most attention for her glamorous looks. Vice President Joe Biden joked on a talk show that he wouldn't have sent her back to Russia.

The U.S. and Russia conducted a spy swap to resolve the issue, after the 10 spies pleaded guilty. Another alleged Russian spy in the group fled after being arrested in Cyprus. And a 12th was deported.

While the Illegals used sophisticated communications methods to avoid detection, the latest group charged is portrayed in court documents more as common fraudsters.

It couldn't be learned how many of the 49 charged last week are suspected of spying and what type of activity the FBI investigators in New York and Washington believe they were involved in. But Manhattan federal prosecutors believed they didn't have enough evidence to bring espionage charges, one source said. In any case, U.S. officials view the fraud charges as more embarrassing to the Russian government.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused the 49 charged in the fraud case of "picking pockets" in the U.S. "Here, as alleged, a multitude of Russian diplomats and their spouses ran a scam on a health care system designed to help Americans in need," Bharara said.

The accused work as mission, consulate and trade representatives in New York, although one also once worked at the embassy in Washington. The Russian government normally pays for medical costs of their employees, and those employees' children aren't generally eligible for U.S. citizenship at birth.

According to prosecutors, the diplomats falsified Medicaid benefits applications, under-reporting incomes or reporting no income to qualify. While they got benefits, they had a taste for high-end shopping, spending thousands at stores such as Tiffany and Bloomingdale's.

One former Russian diplomat charged is named Timur Salomatin, who with his wife, Nailya Babaeva, applied for Medicaid pregnancy benefits in November 2010 and represented Salomatin's salary to be $3,000 a month, and later $4,400 a month. The family got almost $31,000 in fraudulent Medicaid benefits, prosecutors say. While getting Medicaid benefits last year, the couple spent $50,000 on purchases from retailers such as Apple, Prada and Bloomingdale's, prosecutors allege.

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Filed under: FBI
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Gabriel

    So, typical of Russian, Chinese and Cuban Communist's – one scam leads into another. If they are not engaging in corporate espionage, then they are hacking computers and if not that then they are selling fake Cuban cigars - IN CUBA! Now, how is that possible? Communism is Theft...

    December 24, 2013 at 2:34 am | Reply
    • Valery J Kulakov

      They do it because we (USA and the rest of the world) allow them to play dirty tricks on all of us.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:44 am | Reply
  2. murf

    Gasp!
    Countries spying on each other!
    Say it isn't so?

    December 12, 2013 at 8:00 am | Reply
  3. Skye

    I was born in Russia. My opinion: Kick them out. Revoke their kids' American citizenship. And never let them back to this country. This would be the best punishment for them. Shame on Russian government for protecting them.

    December 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      Thank you, you made it chrystal clear what is is al about: it is just a public stunt to make American people feel outraged.

      Some American peple are simply too short-minded to even bother to read the article before expressing their judgement. To bad for American People. You managed to concentrate your outrage and your stupidity just in three lines.

      There is no need to kick them out of the country: all of them already left. Some several years ago.

      There is no need to revoke US citizenship of theit kids: then never has it and never applied for it. Besides, kids are 100% innocent.

      Shame on Russian Government? May be. Putin still provides free medical care to foreing diplomats in Moscow. That is tupid, indeed.

      December 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Reply
    • Valery Kulakov

      The word "Shame" is missing in the vocabulary of all Russian governments, starting November 1917.Take my word for it.I also was born in the USSR, not Russia.
      http://www.russica-book-and-art.com

      December 15, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
  4. Elena

    "The case comes amid some tensions in U.S.-Russian relations ..."

    As if by accident :)

    December 10, 2013 at 9:04 am | Reply
    • Valery J Kulakov

      Dear Elena, is not it "better late than never"?

      December 25, 2013 at 5:46 am | Reply
  5. press inside

    Reblogged this on News-Press and commented:
    First on CNN: Sources: Diplomatic fraud ring also spied

    December 10, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  6. SeeThruIt2

    U.S. government handouts now paying for the Russians to spy on us too.

    LOL Does it get any better than this?

    December 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • reality check

      Another example of non-citizens scamming the system. Why are taxpayers continuing to put up with this?

      December 10, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply
  7. Miguel

    Hell since when has Obama been concerned about fraud being committed by his supporters.

    December 9, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  8. George patton

    why single out only Russians and what about all middle easterners?

    December 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • Knew-a-daughter-of-Russian-diplomat

      In the second place, Harrison and his ilk believe that the Displaced Person is a human being, which he is not, and this applies particularly to the Jews, who are lower than animals.
      – Diaries, General Patton : A Soldier's Life (2002) by Stanley P. Hirshson, p. 661

      December 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • Peppy

      The point is, pretty much every country knows what a wimp Oblameo is. Don't cross this line, ooops I mean this line, errr I mean , well you get the point. He wont fire Sebelious who just wasted a billion bucks, you think the inept one is going to anything ??? think again

      December 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  9. oreo

    About 20% of Medicaid payments are fraudulent, try telling this to a neoliberal and they will call you racist.

    December 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  10. stop-the-bs

    Yet, people continue to support Edward Snowden for revealing sensitive government information in a country that's engaged in the same sort of activity.

    December 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  11. RR

    I guess they have learned all the lessons of the market economy after all :) which were taught them during the 90s ;)
    The chicken come home to roost... should I say.
    By the way, just in case you've missed it: Apple products cost ~30% more in Europe and Russia. They used saved money to buy Apple products for future retail and they transferred gadgets through the customs using their diplomatic status. Such "creative" and "entrepreneurial" fellows :)))

    December 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  12. Robert Constant

    CNN has "closed comments" on the Cruz story and Gingrich story. Why? Is there really Free Speech on these CNN posts if CNN decides which stories people can speak about and which ones will be closed? Is that free speech? Who is in the back room deciding? Carl Rove? The time has come to tell it like it is. CNN IS FOX LIGHT.

    December 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  13. Alex279

    For Medicaid and Medicare fraud, federal law establishes
    (1) a civil statute of limitations of six years (42 U. S. C. § 1320a-7a(c)(1)), and
    (2) a criminal statute of limitations of five years (18 U. S. C. § 3282).

    So why did FBI and prosecutor Preet Bharara waited for so long before filing the charges?

    Half of the counts in the Indictment goes strait to trash bin because they already expired.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • RR

      Preet Bharara became a "persona non grata" in Russia a year ago. If think this was the source of his motivation.
      Perhaps, he had to cancel his vacation to Saint Petersburg :)

      December 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Reply
      • Alex279

        Did he ever wanted to go to Russia?

        December 10, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • RR

      I do not think he actually wanted to visits Russia, but the mere fact "non grata" status got him going...

      December 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  14. SOICAN

    and the fraud by Americans costs us 1.5 Billion a year

    December 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • theoldfool1950

      It's got to be more than that. In America you are either predator or prey. The Russians just come here because the hunting is so good.

      December 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  15. dirtnapper

    And, we are going to buy helicopters from Russia at million$ of US taxpayers expense to be used by the Afgans! How is this being allowed? What, can't we make helicopters? Also, didn't the US Govt. pay a firm outside of the US to design the failed website for Obamacare? Don't we have any people here who could do this, but, hopefully better!

    December 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Knew-a-daughter-of-Russian-diplomat

      It's a little bit different. Mi-17s have reliable, cheap to fly and service design form 60s. Plus if there are any chopper pilots left in Afghanistan, they flew Mi-8/17. I'd say US-built choppers are very nice, but come on they won't last long in those conditions and with Afghani techs.

      December 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  16. Alex279

    Objection! The most recent CNN video photoshoped the face of Anna Chapman to make it fat-looking like Monica Lewinskii.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  17. SixDegrees

    So that works out to a staggering $167k per year.

    Glad they caught 'em, but the investigation alone cost more than what was being pilfered. Get back to me when the billions of dollars of fraud and waste Obama said could be realized in savings on Medicaid alone get found.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  18. atkoa

    And Obama wants to give 11million illegals amnesty?

    December 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      No, the remaining 11 already left US as of today, Monday Dec. 9, 2013. No need to even assert diplomatic immunity.

      December 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  19. Gordon Duprey

    If there govt can't afford to support them on U.S. soil, they should keep them home. There is no reason that
    the government should have to support these freeloaders.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • reality check

      There are tens of thousands of Russians in Brooklyn scamming the system right now. Between elderly Russians being shuffled to medical mills for bogus medical treatments and an entire cottage industry catering to fradulent personal injury suits its costing American taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:40 am | Reply
  20. Jimmy

    Patton was right about the Russians in 1945, nothing has really changed in that regard.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Thank you!!!

      December 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  21. maggie

    I am not surprised at all foreign diplomats with immunity commit all sorts of crimes and get away with it.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      Diplomatic immunity == free parking. anywhere. anytime.

      December 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • TomGI

      I agree. If truth were known I'd bet they are trained to fund their espionage activities and overhead with fraud of all types.

      December 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  22. North star

    What a surprise...! Comments above gave me some chuckles.

    December 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  23. Bad odor Vodka

    Russian woman had sagging chests, America has great plastic surgeons so why wouldn't these Cossacks use our Medicaid for it would be an embarrashment to go home without the best thing America sells... Bigger Breasts

    December 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  24. bachang

    I agree with Sam. The Medican and the wealthy Chinese are coming to the US to have their babies. These babies get the US citizenshipautomaticcally. These babies are called anchored babies.
    We need to change the rule so that only babies born by permanent residents or US citizens can have US citizenship or in the future our beloved country will belong to Chinese and Mexican.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  25. Andrey

    So CNN says Russian spies have defrauded US medicare for what: $1.5 M... They used 49 people from UN Diplomatic Corpus to help them with the scheme: so altogether achieving such a spectacular result! CNN sheep are left horror-struck by the news!

    December 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Andrey

      And that took them 9 years too! Wow: what a grand scale! And it's all for $1.5 M: you must be kidding!

      December 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • Someguysarerude

        They're taking out the trash.

        December 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  26. Barry G.

    $ trillion, per years is being scammed from Medicaid, according to an expose, which 60 Minutes aired a while back. I can't understand how and why our government would allow this to occur.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • genengineer05

      Are you serious? Even AFTER these oversights are pointed out, the government goes right on doing the exact same BS. I still remember the $400 hammer stories from 60 minutes years ago and guess what? It's even worse now. We could actually cut taxes and save many, many BILLIONS just on cutting waste alone, if we ever got anyone in Washington with the brains and stones to actually do something.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • North star

        And God forbid we shouldn't pay a few hundred in taxes.....slap the cuffs on! Take the house!

        December 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  27. Dieter621

    Isn't this great? We are not able to police one medical system but want to install a larger one. The corruption of our system is beyond compare. There are no checks and balances because of the spineless politicians not only in DC but at the local level. This isn't even the tip of the iceberg, just look at the federal loan programs that are being abused for countless millions of dollars without anyone to investigate. The politicians that steal millions upon millions and get caught not even paying taxes seem to be exempt from laws so why bother with any of this. America has become a rotting carcass with jackals tearing off their piece of meat while the citizens stand by and watch as it is devoured.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • GreyBeard

      I know, right? And, we have people cheating on their taxes and get away with it. We shouldn't have any government agency unless we can certify 100% that there is no fraud.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  28. Name*

    Quite interesting, espoinage plus making money. It's absolutely new. Only in America....

    December 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  29. genengineer05

    HAHAHAH – too funny. Well, were the Russians at least able to vote for Obama in the election?

    December 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • reality check

      Only in blue states. In places like North Carolina and Texas they were too scared.

      December 10, 2013 at 12:49 am | Reply
  30. ru serious

    ...and exactly why are we giving benefits to non-US citizens? Time to put the brakes on our generosity.... Until there is not a single American citizen hungry homeless or sick should a hand be extended to non-US citizens. Our once great country is being bled dry by those that have no respect for us or our laws and have no interest in contributing to our society. Same goes for our foreign aid. Why are we giving our precious resources to these countries that hate and resent us so much. Bugger off.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • vr13

      We shouldn't be giving benefits to non-citizens but if these people are diplomats they definitely not using nor needing medicaid. This article, or maybe the entire case is missing some very substantial details. For starters, foreign diplomats on Medicaid just doesn't add up. Secondly, the amount mentioned – $1.5 million for 9 years, for 49 people – that's only $3.4K per person. Definitely not something to be enough for all those "luxurious vacations and watches" that the chart in the picture describes. An average medicaid user is probably overcharged annually 3 times of this. Looks like this is just a silly attempt to create negative publicity after the Snowden asylum.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      Why non-citizen get benefits in US? - most likely because of reciprocal bi-lateral agreements between Russia and US.

      Russia provides free heath care for foreign diplomats in Moscow in any case. Besides, Russian hospitals do not even have stuff to handle medical insurance claims.

      December 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  31. stevetall

    Well, what do you expect? We, the people, seem to be condoning our government keeping more things secret, even ourselves. We've allowed ourselves to be frightened into giving up all kinds of rights and trust by the slimely politicians we currently have representing us. I'm talking to you Boehner, and I'm talking to you, too, Mr. President. You guys are allowing us to become a bunch of sneaky little weasels for all the wrong people, and for all the wrong reasons. Sucking it for the money has degraded us from a once bright beacon of hope to a cadre of shadowy weasels protecting the greediest among us. Snap out of it, would you? As Americans, we may not be that bright, but we're not that communally stupid, even taking into account the number of poorly educated, right-wing morons currently all over Fox News.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  32. Carl

    You think Obama will get tough with Putin?
    Naaahhhhhhh
    He's a weenie...

    December 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • stevetall

      And you're a sissy. What have you ever done on an international scale?

      December 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
      • Peppy

        Typical obamobot, name calling and insulting, it shows how ignorant you are. I know it is an embarrassment that you voted for him, get over it. It sucks when you backed an inept LIAR !!!

        December 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • genengineer05

      Putin is a heavyweight and serious statesman – Obama is a lightweight community organizer, it's not even a contest.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • vr13

      Obama didn't know about this. Nobody has told him.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  33. PR

    Call our ambassador home, close our embassy and break off relations with Russia. Screw Putin the putz. They need us worse than we need them.

    December 9, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  34. atavisms

    Time to change the immunity law to exclude civil criminality. That the Ruble and Russia's wealth was utterly pillaged by western banking interests during the collapse of the Soviet Union is well known but that shouldn't excuse this.

    December 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  35. Smarg

    test

    December 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  36. Pablo

    Are we stupid or what? We deserve whatever we get.

    December 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  37. shallowHal

    OMG!!! first the nsa and now the russians!!!! when will all this spying stop???

    December 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  38. njudgemental

    obamacare will expand the medicaid program so all Russians can get on medicaid. And they want us to believe the fraud rate for medicaid is less than 1%? Only the blind can believe that.

    December 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • ToldUso

      Obamacare will enable you to get that brain implant you so desperately require.

      December 9, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • Person of Interest

      This is called saving a card for a rainy day: AKA diplomacy. They were probably caught years ago and this was being held in the hold so when something like Snowden comes up we can play that card. In a few months, the Russian's will find a spy or show evidence of a US diplomat doing something.

      December 9, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • ruski1

      If they sent Mexicans home for Medicaid fraud they would be crucified.

      December 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  39. Logictox

    They aren't Russians, they are liberals. Just using the system for all it's worth.

    December 9, 2013 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • stevetall

      Seriously, you are an incredible moron. Back to Fox News, you pod.

      December 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  40. OldSchool

    So basically they were so incompetent at spying that it wasn't even worth charging them with it?

    December 9, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Alex279

      Definitely their wives were spying in Tiffany & Co when they wee buying the latest models of lingerie with the intent to bring it to Russia and organize production of counterfeit brand-name dresses.

      December 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  41. gkam

    Big Brother nations turn their people into monsters. We are heading that way.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • ManatiDiPorci

      Yeah, vote for Hillary 2016-2024 and see what happens.

      December 9, 2013 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • Bobpitt

        If I vote for Hilary could I get a date with Anna Chapman?

        December 9, 2013 at 11:24 am |
      • Hmmmm

        She will be 69 ... hmmm, no chance.

        December 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  42. kat

    English... How can they be "Alleged Russian Diplomats?" One would think that the U.S. would know whether they are diplomats or not. I thought there are Russian Diplomats who allegedly committed fraud.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • ManatiDiPorci

      Obviosly. The Liberals try to deflect all trouble to either th oppositions or just twist the truth around.

      December 9, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • Larry L

        Can you even form a thought without associating it to divisive politics? How many times per day do you say the word "liberal"? Does Fox News have a rewards program for that level of brainwashing?

        Seriously, wouldn't it be great not to always assign political tags on everybody? Surely you know Americans are not all either "liberals" or "right-wingers". Maybe it's time to stop allowing the media's talking-heads to divide our people into hate clubs...

        December 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Person of Interest

      Diplomatic status's are tricky. Many foreign workers and operatives are granted diplomatic immunity even though they are not "diplomats." You don't want to call someone a Russian Diplomat, who is the shooter on the protective detail but you also want to get the point accross that they have diplomatic immunity. There isn't always a clear line on what is what, when you have another country claiming something. Odds are Russia Blacketly stated they were all diplomats and therefore that is what was passed on here.

      It has nothing to do with a particular political bias no matter what a troll will tell you.

      December 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
      • Person of Interest

        Blacketly = blanketly

        December 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Alex279

        Diplomat is a person who (1) has diplomatic passport and (2) is given a special accreditation from the receiving country. It is a simple as that: the receiving country must formally accept the person to serve as diplomat. This is the internationally adopted procedure.

        December 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
      • Alex279

        In contrast, US often tries to extent diplomatic immunity to other categories of people, like regular military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan (as opposite, say to military attache in Embassy). No self-respecting country would ever accept that.

        December 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  43. Bullfeathers

    Russia is the largest kleptocracy in the world, these guys were just emulating Putin and gang.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
  44. gasior

    I think we should get rid of immunity, for diplomats and for senators. Russians are known for abusing this privilege. In NYC, they park their cars as they wish, handicapped spaces, fire hydrants, they laugh in the face of police and traffic officers because they think they are unteachable. This is not what immunity should be about.

    December 9, 2013 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • vr13

      I think all these charges don't even make sense. How are Russian diplomats on Medicaid? Besides, $1.5 mil over 9 years over 49 people comes out to just $3.4K a person. This is miniscules amount, something a regular doctor routinely overcharges through the year on a regular patient. All these charges just look like a cr@p shoot to me, they don't make any sense and mostly likely this is just a petty publicity action, to retaliate after the Snowden asylum.

      December 9, 2013 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • Alex279

        Perhaps Preet Bharara is running for election or something and needs a publicity stunt.

        December 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
      • awaken

        Your math is as wrong. Even if all 49 each drew from the system for all 9 years, that would be closer to $7700 each, per year.

        December 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • awaken

        My mistake, I don't know why I had 3.4 mil in my head. ouch! My apologies. Oh, yes, I transponded your 3.4 with the 1.5. Long day.

        December 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Knew-a-daughter-of-Russian-diplomat

        I'd say it's like $20k/year per household.
        1500000/3/25=20000
        25 diplomats and 24 spouses = 25 households
        9 years, but embassies have staff rotation period of 3 years.

        December 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Alex279

      Not respecting diplomatic immunity is very bad idea because US diplomats are actually much more exposed, and often work in countries who are quite hostile to US.

      Instead, as far as parking next ti fire hydrants - there is a much easier solution: a tow away truck.

      Then, to get you car back one has to pay to towing compay, which is technically a private company charging for their services. State, Juistice system and municipality are technically not involved so diplomatic immunity does not apply here.
      E.g., try to park your car in parking lot a grossery story for half a day and go elsewhere for the whole day. You cannot be issued a parking ticket because you do not violate any traffic law. Nevertheless, store manages may be not vey happy and call for tow truck. See the difference?

      December 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  45. dwayne

    This lets me know we're trying to get even for Snowden. Good job WH.

    December 9, 2013 at 9:56 am | Reply
  46. SAM

    I THINK IT IS TIME WE NEED TO LOOK INTO BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP VERY CAREFULLY

    December 9, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • davec.0121

      Huh? What has this to do with birthright citizenship? Children born to foreign diplomats aren't eligible for U.S. citizenship. It's clearly stated in the article that the kids aren't U.S. citizens. You need to pay more attention to facts and less to emotion

      December 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • Knew-a-daughter-of-Russian-diplomat

      In this particular case children of aforementioned diplomats are not subjects to 14th Amendment and US citizenship by jus soli.

      December 9, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  47. Ra_Ra_Rasputin

    Nine years and all they could squeeze out of Medicaid was $1.5 million?

    Let them have it. Consider it pity money.

    December 9, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • vr13

      Not only that but among 49 people. It's less than being wasted by doctors on any individual bona fide patient. Besides, how did diplomats end up on Medicaid? This story just doesn't make sense.

      December 9, 2013 at 10:49 am | Reply
      • Dumb

        Wrong on the numbers and a silly basis for comparison; all systems have waste and that has no relevance to the morality or practical problems of people stealing from the budget funding the system. What are you smoking?

        December 9, 2013 at 6:44 pm |

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