BMWs, Porsches and Medicaid don't mix
Kings County District Attorney's Office
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar and Medicaid Inspector General James C. Cox on Wednesday announced the indictment of Kristina Zelinsky, 34, on charges of fraudulently collecting more than $25,000 in Medicaid benefits since 2003 by lying about her income and assets.
The joint investigation uncovered that Zelinsky lived in a luxury condo, owned several luxury cars, took vacations in Las Vegas and shopped at high-end stores.
“Public assistance funds are meant to help families who can’t afford basic needs, such as healthcare,” said D.A. Hynes. “People like this defendant may think she is committing a victimless crime. But, she and others who engage in this type of fraud are stealing thousands of dollars out of innocent people’s pockets.
According to the indictment, Zelinsky, who lived in Brighton Beach, filed her initial Medicaid application in 2003. She claimed she had no income independent of her husband, who made $22,000 annually.
On the basis of this information the New York City Human Resources Administration enrolled Zelinsky in New York State’s Family Health Plus Medicaid Benefits program in 2003, for herself, her husband and their two children. She continued to file disclosures through 2013, listing income amounts that maintained her eligibility for the benefits.
However, according to property records obtained during the investigation, Zelinsky purchased a penthouse apartment for $850,000 at the Oceana Condominium complex in Brighton Beach in 2007. In addition, the investigation uncovered several personal bank accounts in her name, as well as an account in the name of her business, Kristy Billing and Collection.
In 2009, Zelinsky’s average monthly deposits were $10,600, approxiamtely $7,500 more than the limit for Medicaid recipients. Her credit card statements also revealed that she ran up bills at several Las Vegas hotels and restaurants. She also purchased an Aston Martin, a Porsche and a BMW.
“When a person such as Ms. Zelinsky lives in luxury and owns vehicles that most people only see in movies, New York state taxpayers should not finance her health care,” said Medicaid Inspector General Cox.
The charges against Zelinsky include welfare fraud, grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted of the top count, Zelinsky faces up to seven years in prison.