The Oceana complex in Brighton Beach boasts seaside condos, marble lobbies, indoor and outdoor swimming pools – and six residents busted for Medicaid fraud.
One of the ocean-view penthouses at the gated, 14-building complex, where condos sell for upward of $1.6 million and the garage is flush with Bentleys, is owned by Kristina Zelinsky.
The 34-year-old woman likes to shop at Jimmy Choo, vacation in Vegas and tool around in a leased Porsche, Aston Martin and BMW.
But for a decade, Zelinsky brazenly availed herself of the state’s Medicaid program meant for the poor, prosecutors charge.
The value of the benefits Zelinsky and her family allegedly stole totaled more than $25,000. She applied in 2003, claiming she had no income and her husband made just $22,000 a year, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office says.
Zelinsky was busted last week, charged with welfare fraud, grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted of the most serious charge, she faces up to seven years in prison.
“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 James Cox, the state’s Medicaid inspector general.
Zelinsky is the sixth person charged with Medicaid fraud since 2011 who calls the 865-unit complex home, and with 500 residents there on Medicaid, there will likely be many more.
“It’s probably a scam that everybody who lives there knows about,” said a source familiar with the case. “They spread like wildfire.”
A stone’s throw from the boardwalk, the luxury complex is filled with immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Russian is the lingua franca.
The Medicaid IG found many of the Medicaid recipients there were legitimately collecting benefits because they were elderly or disabled relatives of condo owners or had themselves fallen on hard times.
Investigators in 2010 probed about 100 residents and issued subpoenas for bank records.
About 30 cases were turned over to the office of Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and the city Human Resources Administration.
The first Oceana residents to be charged were penthouse dwellers Dr. Pavel Kulik, 45, and his wife, Oksana Shulim, 46.
Shulim claimed on her Medicaid application that she had no income and was supported by Kulik, whom she described as a “friend.”
Investigators found a joint savings account for the couple with more than $450,000.
Shulim pleaded guilty to one of the charges against her, and the couple paid back $22,000.
Kulik, who now rents in a luxurious Central Park South condominium building and enjoys a 300-square-foot terrace, told The Post, “I was proven innocent.”
The rehab-medicine specialist, who has offices in Rego Park and Brighton Beach, was fined $20,000 in 2009 by the state for ordering excessive tests and failing to maintain accurate patient records.
Oceana resident Janna Doheny claimed on her 2004 Medicaid application she earned just $1,550 a month working at a Queens jiggle joint.
But prosecutors alleged she had $170,000 cash in a Long Island safety-deposit box. She purchased five apartments at Oceana between 2002 and 2010. She pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and paid back $85,000.
But she is not out of hot water.
Doheny bought an investment property in Hollywood, Fla. in 2006 with a partner, Limor Arika. Doheny was in charge of collecting rent from tenants and paying the mortgage, but failed to do so, according to Arika, who sued her and says Doheny owes her $80,000. The case is ongoing. Doheny’s lawyer did not return a call. She doesn’t live at Oceana anymore.
Former Oceana residents Valeri Kolossovsky and Tamara Kolossovskaya were arrested on welfare-fraud charges in June. The value of the health care they allegedly received on the taxpayer’s dime was about $35,000.
Zelinsky managed to collect another government benefit — a loan from the US Small Business Administration for $165,300. Documents show the loan was for Zelinsky’s business called MZ Dent, although it is unclear what the company does.
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