The couple who lives in a pricey penthouse is accused lying and cheating to get benefits meant for the poor.
This is the kind of story that enrages people, especially those who are struggling.
A successful doctor, a big Medicaid provider, living a lavish lifestyle with his wife, she's been collecting Medicaid, and now the two are accused of living a lie that has now caught up with them.
The doctor's wife tried to hide behind her designer handbag Wednesday, on paper; she's accused of hiding the truth by claiming to be single and poor to get Medicaid benefits.
"We have the applications. I have zero money, zero income, I am single," said Lauren Mack, Asst. Brooklyn DA.
In reality, Brooklyn prosecutor Lauren Mack says Oksana Shulim is very much married to Dr. Pavel Kulik, who, along with his wife, is now charged with welfare fraud and grand larceny.
The two surrendered early Wednesday morning to be arraigned.
"The details are so salacious and they are so greedy," Mack said.
The doctor is a major Medicaid provider with two profitable clinics in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn and Rego Park, Queens.
One of his Medicaid patients is listed as Oksana Shulim.
"He treated her and he billed Medicaid for his services, so he knew that she was getting Medicaid," Mack said.
"So her husband not only billed Medicaid for other people, but billed Medicaid for her," Eyewitness News investigative reporter Sarah Wallace said.
"Absolutely, he treated her over 22 times that we know of," Mack said.
The couple, who pleaded not guilty, didn't want to talk about the charges, about their lavish Brighton Beach penthouse apartment in this gated community, about the half million dollars documented in a joint checking account, or her personal account.
"She had her own personal slush fund bank account to this day. To this day she's writing checks to Neiman Marcus," Mack said.
Documents show Shulim got Medicaid under her maiden name which is why she fell thru the cracks for so long.
A tipster eventually gave up the couple, which is happening more and more often.
"People are angry. We get anonymous letters, we get flooded with information," Mack said, "They're stealing the public assistance that is there for thousands of New Yorkers that are struggling to make ends meet."
Dr. Kulik also has a misdemeanor conviction for driving under the influence.
The Brooklyn DA and the Human Resources Administration are now making a big push to crack down on welfare fraud.
For information on how to report any kind of fraud (Welfare, Medicaid, Food Stamps) please visit: www.nyc.gov.hra. There is a homepage under "contact us" with a link to report fraud.
You can also call the HRA tipline at: 212-274-5030.
If you have a tip about this or any other issue you'd like investigated, please give our tipline a call at 877-TIP-NEWS. You may also e-mail us at email@example.com.
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