- POSTED: 09 Jan 2014 23:12
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More than 100 people, including dozens of New York City police officers and firefighters, have been charged over an extensive disability scam.
NEW YORK: More than 100 people, including dozens of New York City police officers and firefighters, have been charged over an extensive disability scam.
Some of the defendants are accused of faking post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from their service during the September 11 terrorist attacks on America to collect benefits.
New York's police commissioner William Bratton has expressed his disgust and said more people could still be charged.
The scam alleged by a Manhattan prosecutor is vast. More than 100 people, including many retired New York City police officers and firefighters, are said to have faked disabilities in order to collect millions of dollars from the government.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance alleged four ringleaders have for decades helped scam government insurance policies designed for those unable to work.
The ringleaders, Vance charged, helped many New York public servants game the system, coaching them on how to appear too depressed or anxious to work.
The ringleaders pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges.
Many of the accused claimed they suffered PTSD from serving during the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Photos taken from defendants’ Facebook accounts showed supposedly disabled retirees leading active lifestyles.
Glenn Lieberman, a suspect in the scam, posted a photo of him on a jet ski; he collected more than US$175,000 in payments
Another retiree Richard Cosentino received S$207,000, and he was seen fishing on a boat in a photo.
And Joseph Marrone gave a television interview at a street fair while he sold cannoli. He received US$108,000.
New York officials said the investigation is ongoing, and that as much as US$400 million may have been fraudulently paid to those involved in the scheme.