Defendant was Organizer of a Scheme that Caused Losses of More than $1 Million to New York State’s Medicaid Program

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Ibrahim Aksakal pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care and wire fraud in connection with a so-called “birth tourism” scheme in Suffolk County between approximately 2017 and 2020.  The scheme facilitated pregnant Turkish women fraudulently entering the United States using tourist and business visas to give birth so that their children would obtain birthright citizenship and medical benefits.  As part of his plea, Aksakal consented to the forfeiture of $397,500 as proceeds linked to his role in the scheme.  Today’s proceeding was held before United States District Judge Joanna Seybert.

Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Timothy D. Sini, District Attorney for Suffolk County; Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI); Scott J. Lampert, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, New York Region (HHS-OIG); Frank T. Walsh, Jr., Acting Medicaid Inspector General, New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG); and Stuart Cameron, Acting Commissioner, Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), announced the guilty plea.

“With today’s plea, Aksakal admits to an outrageous scheme in which he caused the Medicaid program to disburse more than $1 million in benefits for pregnant Turkish nationals who, masquerading as tourists, entered the United States under false pretenses to obtain birthright citizenship for their newborns,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis.  Ms. Kasulis also thanked the United States Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, for its assistance with the case.

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U.S. Department of State

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