Fugitive doctor who faked death gets over 2 years in prison

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Southern California doctor who faked his own death to dodge insurance fraud charges and hid overseas for 14 years has been sentenced to nearly 2 ½ years in prison.

Tigran received the 29-month sentence in federal court on Thursday. The 58-year-old could have gotten up to five years in prison.

A native of Armenia and a naturalized U.S. citizen, the Newport Beach physician faked his death in 2002 in Russia, where he had been allowed to travel while facing charges that he bilked California's Medi-Cal program out of nearly $2.5 million through phony billings.

He evaded authorities by moving around in Russia and Egypt, where he was arrested in July.

In November, Svadjian pleaded guilty to unlawfully fleeing prosecution.

The five-year statute of limitations on the original charges had expired.

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