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DA: Husband and Wife Nabbed for Medicaid Fraud

Great Neck married couple took $70,000 in Medicaid benefits by underreporting income and assets, DA says.

Shahram Sharif (left) and Flora Mounessa (right) were each charged with one count of second-degree welfare fraud, one count of second-degree grand larceny, and one count of first-degree offering of a false instrument for filing. (Photo: NCDA)
Shahram Sharif (left) and Flora Mounessa (right) were each charged with one count of second-degree welfare fraud, one count of second-degree grand larceny, and one count of first-degree offering of a false instrument for filing. (Photo: NCDA)

A husband and wife face felony fraud charges after underreporting assets and raking in more than $70,000 in Medicaid benefits, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's office.

Flora Mounessa, 39, and Shahram Sharif, 45, both of Great Neck, were each charged with one count of second-degree welfare fraud, one count of second-degree grand larceny, and one count of first-degree offering of a false instrument for filing.

The couple is accused of underreporting their assets enough to be able to claim Medicaid benefits for themselves and their daughter. They allegedly reported an annual income between $23,400 and $31,200. 

Between January 2005 and October 2010, the defendants received $70,193.64 in benefits. During that time, Mounessa worked as a dentist and Sharif was self-employed, buying and selling real estate. Their jobs raked in $2.74 million over the five years they were given benefits.

The couple was arrested and charged Friday after an investigation.

If convicted, the couple faces possible 15 years in prison, plus restitution and fines. The smallest consequence they could face is a conditional discharge, said the DA.

They were released by a judge and put on probation until they return to court March 11.

Patch adams February 25, 2014 at 01:07 AM
Gee a dentist and a real estate crook, how about all the fake bills submitted to insurance too , we have a system now where crooks appear before criminals in court, courthouses are the most corrupt place in this country, next to d.c and Albany. Every judge is a fraud
Ronnie Gavarian February 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM
We all know that the judicial system in this country has been hijacked and loaded with liberal judges who will do the bidding of the corrupt administration. Term limits across the board!!!
Pat Richards February 28, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Leave the People alone. Go after the REAL problem... "Perpetrators of Medicaid fraud run the gamut from the solo practitioner who submits claims for services never rendered to large institutions that exaggerate the level of care provided to their patients and then alter patient records to conceal the resulting lack of care. Although recipients also commit Medicaid fraud, the jurisdiction of the Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) is limited to investigating and prosecuting Medicaid provider fraud. The MFCUs have prosecuted individual providers such as physicians, dentists, and mental health professionals. In addition, the Units have also prosecuted fraud in numerous segments of the health care industry, such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies, medical transportation companies, pharmacies, durable medical equipment companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical clinics." http://www.namfcu.net/about-us/what-is-medicaid-fraud

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