Victim status evaporates as Michael Salman, family revealed as swindlers
Michael Hashem Salman is a master manipulator. In July, he was able to capture national attention by claiming he had been sentenced to 60 days in jail, fined $12,180 and placed on three years probation, simply for refusing to discontinue hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home.
Along with FOX News and other sources, we were snookered by the man professing to be a wrongly charged and convicted Phoenix pastor. We later added an updated apology when the “rest of the story” was revealed. Then came this follow-up. The Examiner had more in this report by Linda Bentley titled “Religious persecution or media con job?”
So it was not entirely surprising to read Attorney General Tom Horne’s announcement that three Phoenix residents have been indicted by a State Grand Jury on multiple allegations accusing the trio of defrauding $118,000 in health care benefits from AHCCCS — Arizona’s health care system for the indigent. And who should appear among the indicted but Michael Salman, 39, the self-styled pastor who claimed victim status in a blown-out-of-proportion zoning dispute.
Salman and his wife, Suzanne Salman, 34, allegedly misrepresented their household income to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and received health insurance benefits through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) for themselves and their children. Frank Salman, 37, Michael Salman’s brother also misrepresented his income to DES in order receive AHCCCS health insurance benefits of $45,000 for himself, his spouse and his children.
“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,” declared Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. “My office is determined to root out and bring to justice anyone who perpetrates fraud on the State and its taxpayers.”
In addition to being a self-proclaimed pastor, Michael Salman’s dishonesty is compounded by the fact he is a business owner. He even appears wearing food in his mustache and a Mighty Mike tee shirt in his own on-line video ad for his Mighty Mike’s Burgers.