Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mere Words Cannot Express My Disgust...

We give extra powers and special dispensation to the police and other emergency workers because their jobs are dangerous. It's especially egregious when they abuse that trust and use their position to better themselves through fraud and waste, and only makes people mistrust authority that much more.

80 retired New York police, firefighters charged in disability fraud scheme
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eighty retired New York police officers and firefighters were charged on Tuesday in a massive disability scam in which dozens of suspects falsely claimed to have been traumatized by the September 11th attacks to receive benefits they did not earn, authorities said.

In all, 106 suspects were charged in a scheme that goes back to the late 1980s, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, whose office led the two-year probe.

"The total amount stolen from taxpayers could reach $400 million," said Vance.
$400 million for 106 people. That's just under $4 million per person. And it took nearly 30 years for this to finally be discovered. Four men are accused of tutoring people on how to game the system, including an NYPD officer and an NYPD union official. IOW, folks that certainly should have known better. This wasn't a couple of guys who claimed injuries more severe than they actually were to get a longer vacation or something. This was a concerted effort to bilk taypayers out of millions.

Given how brazen some of the players were - one opened a judo studio - it's doubtful there was much oversight into these disability claims. No one ever put two and two together - no one noticed that a disproportionate number of claims came from one sector over others or anything of that sort. Even claiming PTSD from 9/11 as the impetus for some of the claims - talk about abusing the public trust. There were genuine heroes in all branches of emergency services who willingly gave their lives that day to save others - and these bastards dishonor their memory by stealing from the same people they were trying to save.

Special level of hell for this - below child molesters and people that talk in movies...


That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

2 comments:

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

This reminds me of the MA firefighter who claimed disability for a back injury yet was a regular competitor in weight-lifting and body building competitions . . . .

Like you said, a special level of hell.

Anonymous said...


Nytimes had an additional comment.
One thing that caught my eye was that it sounds like the social security investigators were investigating people who had gun permits (and then checking those people for red flags). I might be reading into it, but thats what the wording looks like to me. Link and relevant text below.

( http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/08/nyregion/retired-new-york-officers-and-firefighters-charged-in-social-security-scheme.html?_r=0 )
"""
The inquiry started in 2008 when Social Security investigators noticed that two retired police officers who had gun permits were also receiving payments for a mental disability. That discovery led to a review of other applications handled by Mr. Lavallee and a multiagency investigation.
"""