Russian immigrant detained in Puerto Rico

A Russian-speaking immigrant, Arthur Bogoraz, has been detained, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced. As one of the most wanted criminals in New York State, Bogoraz is charged in a $4.5 million health insurance fraud scheme.

Charges against Bogoraz were first filed in 2010. According to court documents, he forged relationships with radiologists and without their knowledge, used their information to establish radiology facilities. He would then file fake claims to no-fault insurance companies.

Shortly before extradition proceedings began in January 2011, he fled to Ukraine, which does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. However, authorities continued to track his whereabouts.

In the second half of September, Bogoraz devised a strategy to return to the U.S. As a licensed pilot, he flew a small plane from the island of Saint Martin to Puerto Rico, where he bought a ticket to Houston, Texas to avoid American border control. (Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. No passport is required for US citizens traveling between the two locations.). Law enforcement officers apprehended him in Puerto Rico. A grand jury then indicted him on 61 counts. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

Despite demands from the prosecutor for Bogoraz to remain in custody during the investigation, Judge John Ingram agreed to set his bail at $2 million. Bogoraz must turn in his passport and pilot’s license, and wear an electronic surveillance bracelet that covers the entire United States.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud cost New Yorkers approximately $204 million in 2010.

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