Dozens of Retired NYC Police, Firefighters Charged with Social Security Disability Fraud

Just think of what he can get if he claims he's afraid of horses!There’s probably some sort of
joke or ironic reference to be made about New York City’s
authoritarian police surveillance culture
and breaking news
that dozens of city police and firefighters’ claims of mental
disability have been called into question by images gathered via
the Internet and social media.

The New York Times reports this morning that 80 retired
New York City police officers and firefighters are being charged
with Social Security disability fraud. And they may just be the

tip of the iceberg

Eighty retired New York City police officers and firefighters
were charged on Tuesday in one of the largest Social Security
disability frauds ever, a sprawling decades-long scheme in which
false mental disability claims by as many as 1,000 people cost
taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, according to court

Scores of those charged in the case essentially stole in plain
sight, according to a 205-count indictment and a bail letter,
collecting between $30,000 and $50,000 a year based on fabricated
claims that they were completely incapacitated by serious
psychiatric disorders. Many said that their actions in response to
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were responsible for their
psychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder,
anxiety or depression.

But their Facebook pages and other websites, according to the
court papers, tell a starkly different story.

The bail letter includes photographs culled from the Internet
that show one riding a jet ski and others working at jobs ranging
from helicopter pilot to martial arts instructor. One is shown
fishing off the coast of Costa Rica and another sitting astride a
motorcycle, while another appeared in a television news story
selling cannoli at the Feast of San Gennaro on Mulberry Street in

Read the full story

Who will be the first to claim his or her privacy was violated?
Will they point out that they weren’t doing something suspicious
justifying such snooping, like visiting a mosque or being a

The New York Times notes that 106 people were charged
altogether (so far). Four men have been identified as

Those men – the lawyer, Raymond Lavallee; the pension
consultant, Thomas Hale; the detectives’ union official, John
Minerva; and Joseph Esposito, 64, a retired New York police officer
who recruited many of the other defendants – were charged with
first- and second-degree grand larceny and attempted second-degree
grand larceny.

A pension consultant and a union official, quite a

from Hit & Run

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