Phoenix "Pastor" Among Those Indicted on AHCCCS Fraud Allegations

PHOENIX (Wednesday, August 29, 2012) -- Attorney General Tom Horne announced today that three Phoenix residents have been indicted by the State Grand Jury on multiple allegations accusing the trio of defrauding $118,000 in health care benefits from AHCCCS - Arizona’s health care system for the indigent. Among those indicted is Michael Salman, a self-styled pastor who recently was at the center of a City of Phoenix zoning dispute. 

The 39 year-old Michael Salman and his wife, 34 year-old Suzanne Salman allegedly misrepresented their household income to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and received health insurance benefits through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for themselves and their children. Also, the allegations claim that between May 2007 and March 2012, Michael Salman’s 37 year-old brother, Frank Salman misrepresented his income to DES in order receive AHCCCS health insurance benefits for himself, his spouse and his children. Michael and Suzanne Salman caused AHCCCS to pay out $73,000.00 for medical coverage for them and their children. In regard to Frank Salman, AHCCCS paid out $45,000 for coverage for him and his children. 

“It is unacceptable for anyone who does not legitimately need AHCCCS assistance to devise this kind of scheme that ultimately rips off taxpayers and depletes badly-needed resources for the truly needy,” Horne said. “My office is determined to root out and bring to justice anyone who perpetrates fraud on the State and its taxpayers.” 

The State alleges that between March 13, 2008 and January 31, 2012 Salman submitted false information regarding his household income on applications for AHCCCS benefits which Michael Salman signed under penalty of perjury. The State also alleges that Michael Salman submitted a false statement to DES/AHCCCS in regard to employment with Bureau of Merchant Services. The Arizona Corporation Commission shows Suzanne Salman is the current statutory agent for National Bureau of Merchant Services (NBMS). NBMS’ initial board of directors, when the Corporation Commission paperwork was signed on December 15, 2004, consisted of Michael and Suzanne Salman as the sole board members. 

The State Grand Jury issued indictments for Michael and Suzanne Salman for Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a class 2 felony; Theft, a class 2 felony; and multiple counts of Forgery, class 4 felonies. Michael Salman is also facing one count of Perjury, a class 4 felony. The State Grand Jury also issued an indictment for Frank Salman for Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a class 2 felony; Theft, a class 2 felony; and multiple counts of both Forgery and Perjury, class 4 felonies. These charges are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Beverly Rudnick. This case was investigated by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s Office of the Inspector General.