A California doctor who allegedly faked his own death to avoid prosecution for health care fraud was alive on arrival in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Tigran Svadjian was nabbed in Egypt last month and returned to Kennedy Airport for the first leg of his return trip from the dead. Svadjian was ordered held without bail and will be transported to California to face a federal indictment charging him with bilking the Medi-Cal system out of $2.4 million in fraudulent billings.
Public records indicate Tigran Svadjian is deceased as of Oct., 2002
Svadjian was last heard from in the fall of 2002 when his attorney notified prosecutors that he would be traveling to Moscow because his mother was sick, according to court papers.
The U.S. Embassy was notified on Oct. 24, 2002 that Svadjian had died of pneumonia and his remains were cremated.
California prosecutors dismissed the indictment in 2013 although they were unable to confirm his death.
California dimissed the charges in 2013, because the defendant was deceased
Then last month Svadjian was arrested in Egypt, where he had apparently been living for more than a decade and working part-time as a scuba instructor. He was trying to travel to Russia with a fake Lithuanian passport so he could visit his girlfriend who is pregnant with his second child.
Svadjian told FBI agents in Egypt that a police officer in Russia had helped him fake his death for a “service fee” of $200.
A lawyer appointed to represent Svadjian in Brooklyn waived his extradition to California.