Robert Terdjanian, an alleged ringleader in the massive Medicare fraud,
Now that's a sick scam.
Dozens of reputed Armenian gangsters were busted by the feds yesterday for a "smorgasbord" of offenses that includes the largest-ever Medicare fraud by a single crime syndicate.
The size and sophistication of the coast-to-coast scheme -- which generated more than $160 million in bogus bills -- "puts the traditional Mafia to shame," Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said.
The ring created at least 118 "phantom" medical clinics in 25 states that used stolen identities of doctors and patients to rip off more than $35 million in taxpayer funds.
In reality, most of the clinics were nothing more than rented Mail Boxes Etc. addresses, Bharara said.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said many of the fake invoices -- which included forensic pathologists charging for live office visits, and obstetricians conducting allergy tests -- were cooked up in an office above a Brooklyn auto-body shop.
Charges were also filed in California, Georgia, New Mexico and Ohio, alleging a total of $163 million in fraud by 73 defendants.
Those charged in New York include reputed crime boss Armen Kazarian, who holds the title of "vor," which authorities said is similar to a Mafia godfather. Kazarian is the first vor ever charged with racketeering in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.
The 46-year-old resident of Glendale, Calif. -- who drives a $350,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom -- was secretly recorded making profane threats against "those who have failed to pay him or show him proper respect," court papers say.
During one call on July 21, he allegedly ranted to an underling about someone named "Alik" who had called Kazarian while drunk.
"Find that son of a bitch. . . I am going to kick his ass," court papers quote Kazarian as saying.
Also arrested was Robert Terdjanian, 35, of Brooklyn, who was described as the East Coast ringleader of a gang aligned with Kazarian.
Terdjanian, along with Davit Mirzoyan of Los Angeles, oversaw a multitude of schemes that included sales of illegal drugs, untaxed cigarettes and Viagra, authorities said.
The suspects allegedly laundered some of their dirty profits by purchasing casino chips in Las Vegas.
Another suspected scam involved co-defendant Aron Chervin, who allegedly recruited strippers to file false car-insurance claims.
Terdjanian -- who was held without bail-- was also accused of threatening to disembowel an extortion victim at a Brighton Beach restaurant in May.
Defense lawyer Scott Tulman said Terdjanian "denies the allegations.