An admitted Medicare swindler was living like the Great Gatsby, spending millions on ultra-luxury cars, pricey wristwatches and a $100,000 diamond engagement ring — all courtesy of taxpayers.
Maksim “Max” Shelikhov, 29, pleaded guilty to health-care fraud and money-laundering conspiracies and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced next week for his role in a corrupt Brooklyn medical clinic that defrauded Medicare out of $50 million.
The high-living hustler admitted he used millions of taxpayer dollars to amass an impressive collection of luxury automobiles and apparel that included a $280,000 Aston Martin, a $31,000 Audemars Piguet wristwatch and white textured Louis Vuitton loafers.
Shelikhov, who later became a government witness, was also generous with his Medicare money.
The embezzled money poured in for five years, fueled by corrupt Medicare patients who were bribed to fake a wide range of health ailments.
Shelikhov used millions to underwrite his enviable lifestyle, including a coveted American Express Centurion Card, known as the “Black Card.”
His spoils — catalogued in official documents by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn who seek to have them forfeited as part of his sentence — included the Aston Martin for his 25th birthday.
Shelikhov’s gravy train was halted in 2010 when the FBI raided the Brooklyn clinic that was used as a front and prosecutors Sarah Hall and Shannon Jones secured convictions of nearly 20 employees.
He was arrested in 2011 after returning from his native Ukraine and pleaded guilty to health-care fraud and money-laundering conspiracies.
He then became a government informant and turned his own mother and father over to the feds.
Authorities said Shelikhov’s mother was one of the ringleaders while his father allegedly played a peripheral role.