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.

bucketsofgold February 22, 2014 at 07:10 AM
I am SO SICK of people doing this! Unbelievable...the POS's "raked in" over 2.7 MILLION dollars over the PAST 5 years and no one in "our Goverment " caught this! I don't know whom I'm more pissed at, THEM or NY State for not catching this! Why are they not running Social Security numbers every 6 months on EVERYONE collecting Benefits?..This is just outrageous!
Joan Haber February 22, 2014 at 07:43 AM
tattoo THIEF across their foreheads and deport them.
yeahitzme February 22, 2014 at 08:30 AM
Huh! This is just the tip of an enormous iceberg! There are tons more out there that are doing exactly this and much much more! Funny...as a honest hard working tax paying American I wasn't able to get a free pencil for my kids' college through the government... and we are far from wealthy like this dentist and real esyate entreprenuer! What's wrong with this picture??? The words been out for a very long time where to come for the "free stuff!" The "piggy bank" is empty!
Eileen February 22, 2014 at 09:33 AM
Everyone -- this is PERVASIVE...hustlers encourage others (like me), "go on ahead, put this income down here, nobody checks, you'll get Medicaid (the gold card)". Instead I'm paying $748 a month to Oxford oh, and "toss your $50 co-pay in first". If the DDS has permitted this personally, think what she's done in her practice billing!!!! NYSOPMC must step in? Big time scams with durable medical goods suppliers also, nothing new. Patient gets an Rx for $$$ beaucoup of medical goods, presents this to the supplier, no goods are actually exchanged -- rather the customer gets a few hundred, and the supplier bills and then pockets the full amount. His inventory remains untouched. We keep paying the auto insurance. We're all disgusted and fed up and tapped out.
Ronnie Gavarian February 22, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Entitlement, entitlement, entitlement......this is the result of an endless trough. No S.S. # checks, no border checks, no nothing, but this is how the crooks in government hold onto their voting base. These are the type of people who vote the bigger crooks than themselves into office. All on the backs of honest, law-abiding citizens such as myself and many, many people who get nothing but grief from their government. It's time for a major change from the top down.
Bill M February 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM
These two clowns should do the max 15, and the Gov't needs to do a better job of monitoring people who collect. Unfortunately there are millions more out there scamming. The Gov't is quick to blame pension costs for their money problems but not once do they mention welfare and social security fraud.
Ronnie Gavarian February 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Our social security is in jeopardy, the debt ceiling is always being raised, the government is always short somewhere, but never do we hear that ANY of the entitlement programs are "short." It seems they never run out of our money for their slush funds for the so-called underprivileged. How is that?
Mocha22 February 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Just imagine how many more are doing what they are doing!
Michele Mazzilli February 22, 2014 at 02:44 PM
This is where all our tax paying dollars go... Ship these damn immigrants back to their own country. They only USE the United States for their own advantage!!!
Ronnie Gavarian February 22, 2014 at 03:55 PM
The American people are enraged, disillusioned, disenchanted, insulted and abused. It is time for a revolution of sorts. November 2014 is fast approaching. Use your vote wisely, but more importantly....get out and VOTE!
lucky libra February 22, 2014 at 05:17 PM
eileen A. February 22, 2014 at 11:24 PM
damn SOB's. i'm struggling with a disability and only live on my ssdi (paying enormous amounts of $$ for chemo and medication) and these two (and i'm sure there are many more out there) are raking in the dough. how wonderful this world is. i really like the comment with the tattoo across the forehead and add the cut off the hands...send them all back to where they came from. that will be at least 2 or three (with the kid) less for us to worry about any more. i hope they have to pay 10 times the amount back to the system, now that would be a deterrent. What a concept!
Ronnie Gavarian February 23, 2014 at 07:58 AM
HEY, CUOMO!!! Are you listening, do you see what your downstate constituents are saying?? You'd better wake up! And for those of you struggling with medical costs, can't the ACA help you?
Joe Vette February 23, 2014 at 09:23 AM
Lets get these people who leach off the system. My Mom gets Medicaid legally. There are many restrictions before one is eligible for Medicaid and there is too much fraud. We all pay for the crimes committed. Where I live, $1.9 out of every $10 in property taxes is taken for Medicaid.
yeahitzme February 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM
However...we all know without these unchecked entitlement handout votes...these political pawns would never get elected...This IS their voting base! And these guys are very well aware of this and keep the freebies flowin...at our expense and blood sweat and tears! If you come to this country...it has to be legally! No exceptions...Just like how our grandparents came and worked hard for every dime! No free rides here! Stop the freebies and you won't even have to worry about securing the borders! problem solved. They will go elsewhere...if there is another foolish government that exists anywhere in the world that welcomes freeloaders and scammers off its own hardworking citizens backs!?! If there is ... let us know since we will need a place to migrate after the US is stripped clean!
Giambona Jr February 23, 2014 at 05:50 PM
Welcome to America ,Keep letting these Animals in To Suck the Blood out of us Hard Working Tax Payers.
Eileen February 23, 2014 at 06:12 PM
You know, I'm just thinking to myself--is there a phone number where concerned citizens (not unlike myself) could call and enter anonymously a suspicion of illicit Medicaid behavior? Here's the catch, would it be followed up on? I once called INS for an illegal alien, provided all the information -- he's still illegal, now he's a grandpa. Stupid us. About the dentist -- like she always says "open wide" -- yes with salt, gee what a graphic image, but you get it.
Sal Anthony February 24, 2014 at 02:15 AM
I know there daughter rangdangdiggitydangdadang
LS February 24, 2014 at 01:11 PM
They weren't happy raking in $2.75 million in this great country, they had to leech off us too. We are fools to let this continue. Demand accountability from our government, or vote the bums out.
Michele Mazzilli February 24, 2014 at 01:45 PM
These people do not love this country, they just use and abuse the United States to their own advantage. They send the monies back to their countries and God knows the money is used to fund terrorism. These immigrants come right off the boat and go straight to the government funded agencies and apply and get everything!!! We as Americans need to smarten up these people cannot be trusted...men, women and children they are raised that way!!! Enough is enough!!!!
Ronnie Gavarian February 24, 2014 at 01:49 PM
Yes, Michele you are correct, but sadly, as I mentioned before, this is the voting base for the crooked politicians in our state and our country so I don't see a major change in the near future. More hands on involvement by people is what's needed. Every single American has to pick up the phone or write a letter to their senators or congressional representative and air their feelings on the subject. They [politicians] need to hear our voices because right now they are deaf. Just imagine if everyone reading this article wrote to their politicians and complained - what an impact that would make. I, for one, am going to do that. I suggest that all of you do too.
Anthony Fulgieri February 24, 2014 at 03:23 PM
I think the red flag here is that they claimed they made 54600 total income and they lived in Great Neck....
Karen February 24, 2014 at 03:30 PM
This is very disturbing news. My sister's second husband, former husband did the same sort of thing and should have been arrested for it. Why did he get away with it? I don't understand how he slipped through the cracks. He was on full disability and worked full time as an accountant and had a trust set up for the mortgage where then money went. It was criminal. He was a convicted embezzler and yet she and our brother, who is a criminal attorney aided him all the way. He continues to work and collect full disability. How is this possible?
TJ Eckleburg February 24, 2014 at 08:26 PM
Deport. There's JFK International Airport Eastward Bound: Use it!!
Michele Mazzilli February 24, 2014 at 09:37 PM
I'm with you on that TH
Michele Mazzilli February 24, 2014 at 09:37 PM
I'm with you on that TH
Michele Mazzilli February 24, 2014 at 09:38 PM
Ivan Ivanovich 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


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »