"Pastor" Michael Salman Indicted for AHCCCS Fraud, Faces Multiple Felony Charges
See also: Michael Salman wants to build a church in his backyard
See also: Michael Salman is not in jail for having Bible studies in his home
See also: Michael Salman claims his "right to hold Bible studies in jail" was violated
See also: Joe Arpaio and Michael Salman keep inmates bored to death at Tent City
Believe it or not, ex-gang member/Pastor Michael Salman is accused of stealing and lying, as well as ripping off taxpayers and the needy.
Attorney General Tom Horne just announced that a state grand jury indicted Salman, his wife, and his brother for defrauding AHCCCS -- the state's Medicaid program -- of more than $118,000.
New Times has been writing about Salman fairly extensively since 2008, as Salman's urge to build a church in his backyard drew the ire of his neighbors. In recent days, it's become pretty apparent that Salman has avoided truth-telling as he's tried to pull the wool over the public's eyes with his tales of "religious persecution."
There's nothing holy about allegedly lying and stealing from the taxpayers, though.
According to Horne, Salman's accused of lying about his household income on applications for AHCCCS benefits, and lied in a statement to the state Department of Economic Security.
Salman's wife Suzanne Salman, and his brother Frank Salman, are also accused of lying on applications.
Due to those alleged lies, AHCCCS paid out $73,000 for medical coverage for Salman, his wife, and his children. AHCCCS paid out $45,000 for Frank Salman and his children.
The grand jury indicted Salman on one count of fraudulent schemes and artifices, one count of theft, three counts of forgery, and one count of perjury -- all felonies.
His wife and brother face similar charges.
"It is unacceptable for anyone who does not legitimately need AHCCCS assistance to devise this kind of scheme that ultimately rips off taxpayers and depletes badly-needed resources for the truly needy," Horne says in a statement. "My office is determined to root out and bring to justice anyone who perpetrates fraud on the State and its taxpayers."
Salman has served about 50 days of his 60-day jail sentence in Tent City after being found guilty of 67 misdemeanors related to an illegal building he constructed in his backyard, and his unwillingness to comply with the City of Phoenix's zoning rules.
Salman previously served nearly six years in prison for a drive-by shooting -- where he was caught with LSD -- and was also booked into jail once for impersonating a police officer. It's entirely likely that he'll also get more jail time for violating his probation and not paying more than $10,000 in fines.
But according to Fox News and others, Salman's just another persecuted Christian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.