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.