Psychiatrists and added doctors in Chicago and beyond the country accept been bent allowance immigrants gain U.S. citizenship by accouterment affected medical opinions, annal show.
An estimated 1,000 bodies a year abide a anatomy to clearing admiral in Chicago abandoned to abandon the requirements that addition gluttonous citizenship charge accept English and canyon a analysis in U.S. history and civics.
The abstruse Anatomy N-648 requires a doctor to account any concrete or brainy ailment that would anticipate a accommodating from affair the accent requirements of citizenship.
The anatomy is affected to fraud, though. Clearing admiral aren’t declared to investigate the ailments. They’re instructed only to accomplish abiding that the forms are completed accurately and that the advice in an applicant’s book is consistent.
Corrupt doctors accept taken banknote to ample out the forms for able immigrants, who afresh abstain accepting to booty accomplishment tests in English and U.S. history and civics. Three doctors with Chicago offices accept pleaded accusable to the scam, and addition is adverse charges.
Dr. Slawomir Puszkarski, whose convenance on Milwaukee Avenue on the Northwest Side catered to Polish patients, was bedevilled to acquittal in 2015 afterwards he accepted allowance an clandestine federal abettor abide a affected Anatomy N-648.
“I abstruse a lot from my mistake, and I would never do it again,” the 55-year-old analyst told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Other doctors afresh accept faced case for the crime in San Diego, Miami and Philadelphia, annal appearance — allotment of a beyond botheration of artifice involving clearing documents. For years, affected ID-makers accept flourished in Illinois and elsewhere.
But artifice involving Anatomy N-648 is altered because the doctors booty a bigger accident than best scammers — that of accident their medical authorization — in barter for fees that annal appearance accept ranged from about $200 to $2,500 a form.
In some cases, the doctors who appoint in such artifice additionally were scamming Medicaid and Medicare. Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil, a Miami analyst now confined a 151-month bastille sentence, fabricated apocryphal diagnoses of brainy illnesses, acceptance audience to access Social Security affliction payments, according to prosecutors. They say his audience additionally acclimated affected brainy diagnoses on N-648 forms to become citizens.
The 50-year-old doctor was ordered to accord the government added than $30 million. Authorities bedeviled his acreage and an art accumulating that included prints by Marc Chagall.
On the West Coast, Dr. Roberto J. Velasquez was bedevilled to 21 months in bastille in 2013 for clearing and Social Security artifice in the San Diego area. Velasquez, a psychiatrist, biased N-648 forms amid 2006 and 2012 in acknowledgment for $200 each, prosecutors said. The forms accepted affliction exemptions to at atomic 50 people, annal show.
Velasquez, 60, accomplished audience to use poor English during citizenship interviews and not to acknowledge their academy educations.
In 2011, an clandestine abettor visited his office.
“All right, actual good, we’re activity to accomplish you a United States citizen, OK?” Velasquez was secretly recorded saying.
“I’m activity to put bottomward that you’re depressed, sad, anxious, um, I’m activity to accomplish a acceptable address for you.”
Puszkarski, the Chicago analyst bankrupt for citizenship artifice involving the N-648 forms, is a Polish immigrant who became a U.S. citizen.
In December 2011, an clandestine abettor came to him seeking a affected Anatomy N-648. Puszkarski referred the abettor to Dr. Jerry Jakimiec, who airish as the agent’s approved physician and created a affected almanac of medical care, cloister annal show. Without giving an exam, Jakimiec certified that the abettor suffered from abasement and arteriosclerosis.
Jakimiec approved out such adumbral business, according to federal authorities, who said he alike placed an ad in a Polish-language agenda that said, “We accept the best attorneys, we assignment on clearing affairs — assay for blooming card, we booty affliction of it for you so you don’t accept to booty exams for citizenship.”
Then, in July 2012, Puszkarski certified on Anatomy N-648 that the aforementioned abettor suffered from depression, alike admitting the analyst never did an exam, either. The abettor paid Puszkarski $2,520 for the illegal assistance.
In 2015, Jakimiec pleaded accusable to clearing fraud, forth with ripping off Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois with apocryphal billings. He was bedevilled to three years in bastille and ordered to pay $258,000 in restitution.
Jakimiec, 62, is confined his book in the federal bastille in Oxford, Wisconsin.
Puszkarski additionally pleaded accusable and was bedevilled to acquittal and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Prosecutors said he was motivated by “hubris and greed.”
Illinois accompaniment admiral abeyant the medical licenses of Jakimiec and Puszkarski because they pleaded accusable to felonies. Puszkarski’s Wisconsin authorization was additionally suspended.
In December, Puszkarski filed a address to restore his Illinois medical license. A audition on his address is appointed for Monday, annal show.
“I anticipation I was allowance people,” he told the Sun-Times. “I didn’t go in there to bamboozle the government.”
MORE IN ‘THE THIRD BORDER’ SERIES:• Deportation takes assessment on ancestors larboard abaft in Chicago, Feb. 19, 2017• In Clearing Court, few criminals, far added accessory offenders, Feb. 12, 2017
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