9/11 disabilty fraud scheme crackdown nets dozens of arrests

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  1. poncho

    poncho
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    NEW YORK -- Scores of retired New York City police officers, firefighters and prison guards were charged Tuesday with faking psychiatric problems to get federal disability benefits - with some falsely claiming their conditions arose after the Sept. 11 attacks, prosecutors said.

    Four ringleaders coached the former workers on how to falsely describe symptoms of depression and other mental health problems that allowed them to get payouts high as $500,000, said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. The ringleaders made tens of thousands in dollars in secret kickbacks, Vance said.

    Among the retirees arrested were 72 city police officers, eight firefighters, five corrections officers and one Nassau County Police Department officer.

    Investigators said the scam stretched back more than two decades, with the ex-officers and other workers collecting years' worth of benefits for citing mental health problems so severe that they couldn't work at all. The workers were coached on how to portray their problems, reporting that they were so psychologically damaged that they couldn't take care of themselves, prosecutors said.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_york&id=9384207
     

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