Oh, and while that was going on, the Iranian Mission to the UN was running its own scam out of Manhattan, laundering millions of dollars, with Iran’s ambassadors illicitly overseeing the New York-based Alavi Foundation and the rental proceeds of an upmarket office tower with an address on Fifth Avenue — which just this September led to what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described as “the largest-ever terrorism-related forfeiture.” Among the former Iranian ambassadors involved in that abuse of diplomatic privilege was not only Iran’s current ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee; but also Iran’s current foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator, Javad Zarif (for more on that, read my new Weekly Standard article on “Iran’s Chief Negotiator”). Zarif served as Iran’s ambassador to the UN from 2002-2007, so his Alavi schemes overlapped with the Russian UN officials’ kickback deals as well as the early part of the Russian diplomats’ alleged Medicaid fraud.
A lively place, the UN. Congratulations to the FBI and federal prosecutors for tracking these things down. But the problem is, it takes time and resources for U.S. authorities to discover, investigate and shut down the UN-linked parade of fraud, money-laundering and abuse of diplomatic privilege. Among the 49 Russian diplomats and their spouses charged in the Medicaid case, only 11 are still in the U.S. Andy McCarthy figures most of them will have immunity, and there is no chance of a big prosecution. From the vantage of the year 2013, it becomes easier to piece together a fuller picture of the scams of eight or nine years ago. But what’s still going on? What’s happening right now? By the year 2020, what will federal prosecutors be telling us about the frauds of today?