While there are news stories about home health aides taking advantage of their aging clients, it’s not often that one who seemed completely dedicated to helping make a difference turns out to be an associate of a ruthless Russian mob boss. However, that’s the case for a woman who was known as ‘Anna’ to an elderly couple in upstate New York.
‘Anna,’ as she was known by Jerry and Patricia Gauthier, was considered a valuable support for the aging couple as they struggled with daily life, but her real name is Nazo Gaprindashvili.
The 34 year old was originally from the Republic of Georgia and was an associate of Razhden Shulaya. Shulaya has been described by prosecutors as one of the most powerful Russian mob bosses operating in and around New York City. When he needed certain tasks done, such as shaking down businesses for money, he would call on Gaprindashvili. She also took part in running scams on casinos and her Brooklyn apartment was converted into a gambling facility when she was working with the Gauthiers.
As reported by the Times Union, in the article, Small-town home health aide a big-time mob associate, written by Robert Gavin:
“In Gilboa, best known for its century-old dam on the Schoharie Creek, the Gauthiers once ran the Golden Acres resort. By 2016, Jerry Gauthier, an elderly man who had suffered a stroke a few years earlier, needed a home health aide.
Gaprindashvili filled that role – or so it seemed.
“Thank God for our lovely Anna,” Patricia Gauthier, who has since passed away, wrote on Facebook in February 2017. At the time, Gaprindashvili was returning to the family after being away for several months.
The Gauthiers’ trusted health aide was also a trusted aide to Shulaya. Thomas said Gaprindashvili helped the reputed mob boss “softly extort” restaurants in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach, a hotbed of Russian mob activity, and assisted in one shakedown for $100,000.”
According to the Gauthiers, ‘Anna’ was a great support, someone who cared for them and looked after them, but according to prosecutors, she was also on call for Shulaya, stepping in to perform a host of duties.
However, as the case unraveled, it was discovered that Ms. Gaprindashvili stole more than $100,000 from the Gauthiers’ accounts, moving money to Las Vegas and even helping pay for an attorney for one of Shulaya’s other associates.
Currently, Ms. Gaprindashvili is serving four and a half years on racketeering and other charges.