Russian Mafia Loot Billions With Nursing Services

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German authorities are investigating some 230 nursing services that allegedly charge the government more than € 1.2 billion per year for fictitious staff and hours spent caring for the elderly and sick, media reported Tuesday.

Care for the elderly (Max Pixel CC0 1.0)A police report leak in Die Welt am Sonntag would have linked the services to the Russian Mafia. His network of companies would routinely defraud insurers, patients and pharmacies by claiming services they do not provide, forging documents, employing unqualified caregivers and making multiple claims for a single patient.

The fraud scheme works by making contact – through, for example, religious communities – with relatives of seriously ill people requiring 24-hour care and offering them a private nursing service, according to at Welt am Sonntag.

In reality, untrained nurses only check patients two or three times a day, but then bill the government for round-the-clock care by highly trained staff. In some cases, family members of patients are complicit and take a share of the profits.

Due to the presence of shell companies, signs of money laundering and links to the gaming industry, police suspect organized crime networks in Russia and Eurasia are behind the scam .

The leaked report is based on searches of nursing offices and private apartments carried out last September, in which two Kalashnikov assault rifles and two semi-automatic weapons were also seized, Deutsche Welle reported.

The report also found that some former business leaders under investigation were already known to police as suspected hitmen.

It is believed that the “roof” of the criminal association is the notorious gang of thieves, who mainly employ immigrants from Eastern Europe in organizations, according to to criminal Russia.

Thieves-in-Law was founded in Stalin’s labor camps by ethnic Russians from all over the Soviet Union. They have their own “laws” and a secret language, and they are now believed to recruit members from German prisons, the Welt am Sonntag reported.

Care work would be a particularly juicy target for fraud, as it offers big profits against low risk. As Germany’s population ages, the authorities expect such opportunities to increase in the future.

The German Patient Protection Foundation (DSP) accused the government of being “too easy” on organized crime and said criminals were exploiting bureaucratic disconnection between medicare and medicare in Germany, Deutsche Welle reported.

On Tuesday, the DSP reiterated its year-old proposals, including a central electronic database and a unique, lifetime identification number for all patients.

The home care scam has been known to authorities for some time. In April of last year, the police raided 30 locations across Berlin and arrested the director of a private nursing agency on suspicion of embezzling around 1 million euros, as well as seven employees and 31 patients – almost all of Russian descent.


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