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'Sicko' subject faces criminal charges

June 24, 2007 at 11:11 PM   |   Comments

MAYWOOD, N.J., June 24 (UPI) -- A man who helped at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is being investigated for traveling to Cuba with filmmaker Michael Moore.

Bill Maher of Maywood, N.J., traveled with Moore to seek health treatment in Cuba, where universal healthcare is in place, The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported Sunday.

Maher -- who has suffered more than five years with health problems brought on from his volunteer work at Ground Zero -- said he was not aware he was breaking any laws by visiting Cuba.

His medical treatment is depicted in Moore's new documentary, "Sicko."

Maher reportedly learned last week that he faces charges for violating travel restrictions. He and two other Ground Zero volunteers featured in the documentary are under investigation by the Treasury Department.

Maher told the Star-Ledger he thinks the government is pursuing them for political purposes.

"The reason they have a bug up their butt is about Michael," said Maher. "It's ridiculous. What about paying attention to the (Sept. 11) responders who are dying, who can't get any help? If we wind up going to jail, it's going to send another message out. Instead of helping (sick Ground Zero volunteers), they're locking them up."

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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