Horne: Fines, Restitution For Phoenix "Pastor" And His Family Who Defrauded Arizona Government Agencies

PHOENIX (Monday, February 04, 2013) -- A self-styled Phoenix pastor and his wife who gained notoriety in 2012 for a well-publicized zoning battle involving the home-based location for their religious services, have been sentenced along with the man’s brother for offenses related to AHCCCS fraud, Attorney General Tom Horne announced today. 

39 year-old Michael Salman, his 34 year-old wife, Suzanne Salman, and his 37 year-old brother, Frank Salman, were sentenced to probation in Maricopa County Superior Court last week.   They will also pay fines and restitution.

“I am pleased with the outcome of this case,” Horne said.  “When people commit fraud against a state agency that is designed to provide assistance to those who are truly in need, it is those taxpayers and people who really need the aid that get ripped off.  These kinds of schemes will not be tolerated.”

Michael and Suzanne Salman lied about 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. 

Between 2008 and 2012 the Salmans submitted false information regarding their household income on applications for AHCCCS benefits and also submitted false statements about their employment with Bureau of Merchant Services – an entity whose initial board of directors consisted only of Michael and Suzanne Salman.

Between May 2007 and March 2012, Frank Salman misrepresented his income to DES in order receive AHCCCS health insurance benefits for himself, his spouse and his children. He also reported to AHCCCS that he was employed by NBMS.

Prior to sentencing Michael and Suzanne Salman paid AHCCCS full restitution of $73,808.92.  Michael Salman pled guilty to one count of Theft, and one count of Forgery, both class 4 felonies, and was sentenced to three years probation for each count. Salman was also ordered to pay a fine of $9,200.00 and complete 40 hours of community service. Suzanne Salman was sentenced to six months probation and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

Frank Salman, paid AHCCCS full restitution of $45,304.16 prior to sentencing. Frank Salman pled guilty to one count of Theft, a class 6 felony and was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service.

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.