An immigrant physician who faked his own death to dodge a healthcare fraud conviction has been nabbed after hiding out in Egypt for 14 years.
Doctor Tigran Svadjian was caught in Egypt in July and escorted back to the U.S. by federal agents. He is now behind bars in New York and is being held without bail, pending his transport back to California to face felony charges of stealing $2,500,000 in fraudulent state insurance billings.
Until last month Svadjian, an internal medicine specialist whose office was located on Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles, had been on the run since October 2002. Investigators got a tip that he would be traveling from the mid-East to Moscow to visit family.
It was October 24 2002, when the U.S. government was notified by Russian police that Svadjian had died of pneumonia. California law enforcement dismissed the charges against him in 2013 without verifying his death.
Svadjian had been hiding in Egypt for at least 10 years. He avoided medical work and earned money as a scuba instructor. He was en route to Russia with a fake Lithuanian passport to see his girlfriend when he was handcuffed.
Svadjian told federal agents that a police officer friend in Russia had helped him fake his death for $200.