Man Sentenced in ‘Birth Tourism’ Scheme

A Patchogue man was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in federal prison for for conspiring to commit health care and wire fraud in connection with a “birth tourism” scheme that he operated in Suffolk County.

Ibrahim Aksakal, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip.

The scheme enabled pregnant Turkish women to fraudulently enter the United States using tourist and business visas to give birth so that their children would obtain American citizenship and medical
benefits. The court also ordered Aksakal to pay restitution in the amount of $1,039,723.63, and
forfeiture in the amount of $397,500.

The pregnant women stayed in one of seven “birth houses” that Aksakal maintained in Center Moriches, Dix Hills, East Northport, East Patchogue, Smithtown and West Babylon. As a result of the scheme, Medicaid disbursed more than $1 million in fraudulently obtained benefits.

The Court also ordered Aksakal to pay restitution in the amount of $1,039,723.63, and forfeiture in the amount of $397,500.

From at least January 2017 to September 2020, Aksakal and his co-conspirators
advertised a birth tourism scheme on two Turkish-language Facebook pages.

The approximate $7,500 fee charged to each pregnant woman would include transportation, “insurance” to cover the costs of pre-natal, delivery, and post-natal medical care. Aksakal and his co-conspirators also instructed the women to conceal their pregnancies.

 

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