More retired NY firefighters, police officers arrested in pension fraud probe
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 01:08
Feb. 25 - The investigation widens into an ongoing pension fraud probe that alleges retired NY firefighters and police officers scammed the system to collect disability insurance. Linda So reports.
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They kept their heads down and covered their faces.
Twenty-eight more suspects were arrested on Tuesday in a sweeping pension fraud probe involving retired New York firefighters and police.
They're charged with scamming Social Security Disability Insurance by claiming benefits of up to $50,000 a year for psychiatric ailments.
SOUNDBITE: NYPD COMMISSIONER BILL BRATTON, SAYING:
"Certainly disgraced themselves, embarrassed their families with their abuse of this system."
So far, more than 130 public employees have been charged.
Some of them accused of making up a terrible lie.
SOUNDBITE: MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY CYRUS VANCE, SAYING:
"Falsely claimed their psychiatric disabilities were caused by their associating with the terror attacks of September 11."
The district attorney says the total amount stolen from taxpayers could reach $400 million.
SOUNDBITE: HARLEM RESIDENT DEMARYS VASQUEZ, SAYING:
"It annoys me as a taxpayer, and also annoys me because there are people out there with real conditions that are being denied left and right."
Investigators say several ringleaders got kickbacks for coaching retirees on how to fake mental trauma to qualify for benefits.
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