facebook
twitter
search
search

106 charged in $400 million Social Security fraud case in NYC

Jan. 7, 2014 at 11:00 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Dozens of people, most of them ex-New York City police officers and firefighters, were charged with Social Security disability fraud Tuesday, authorities said.

The 106 defendants, including 72 former police officers and eight ex-firefighters, are accused of taking taxpayers for up to $400 million over the past 20 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the scam allegedly involved facilitators coaching applicants how to convince the Social Security Administration they qualified for disability payments because they were unable to hold a job because of mental issues.

Vance said about half the defendants falsely claimed their psychiatric issues were caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Journal said.

The four defendants who Vance alleges directed the scam -- attorney Raymond Lavallee, 83, Thomas Hale, 89, who worked as a manager under him, and former NYPD officers Joseph Esposito, 64, and John Minerva, 61 -- pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Sept. 11
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm
Fewer people consider themselves 'extremely proud' to be American than decade ago