Ex-NYC Police Officers, Firefighters Charged in Social Security Disability Fraud

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 01:43 PM

By Dan Weil

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The Manhattan District Attorney's office charged more than 100 people, including 80 retired New York City police and firemen, with Social Security disability fraud Tuesday.

The scheme, which allegedly goes back to 1988, involved the filing of false mental disability claims by as many as 1,000 people, The New York Times reports. The scofflaws made out with hundreds of millions of dollars of ill-gotten gains, according to court papers.

The perpetrators claimed they were disabled by psychiatric disorders, leaving them unable to work. Some said the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks caused their plights. But the Internet contains damning evidence against them, according to court papers.

Editor’s Note:
Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

Photos on the web show one supposedly disabled person riding a jet ski, another piloting helicopters and still another teaching martial arts.

One of the accused received benefits for having a fear of crowds, but sold cannolis in Little Italy during the San Gennaro festival that draws more than 1 million people to the neighborhood, NBC 4 New York reports.

The alleged fraudsters collected $30,000 to $50,000 per year.

A total of 106 people are being charged, with four of them accused of directing the scheme. That includes a lawyer, a pension consultant and a union official for New York City police detectives.

The four leaders allegedly directed policemen and firemen applying for Social Security disability insurance to fake psychiatric illness so that they would receive undeserved benefits, The Times reports.

Prosecutors say the leaders told their charges to look unkempt and act disoriented during the interviews doctors used to judge the veracity of their applications.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

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