New Indictments in 9/11 PTSD Fraud Case

28 more individuals charged with scamming the disability system

 

 
 
 

JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press | | Wednesday, February 26, 2014


NEW YORK (AP) — A sprawling criminal case accusing more than 100 retired firefighters, police officers, jail guards and others of scamming the Social Security disability system ensnared 28 more people with charges Tuesday, including sons of some alleged ringleaders.

JEMS: Over 100 Arrested in 9/11 Health Benefits Scam

The case already involved 106 people and $22 million in what the Manhattan district attorney's office says were ill-gotten psychiatric disability benefits. Prosecutors had estimated, when unveiling the case last month, that it ultimately could encompass hundreds of people and as much as $400 million.

"These defendants are accused of gaming the system by lying about their lifestyle," DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement Tuesday. "Their lies were repetitive and extensive."

The retirees are accused of falsely claiming they had depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological problems so crushing they couldn't work. Many recipients were advised to link their supposed symptoms to 9/11, prosecutors say.

Yet some led lives that baldly contradicted their claims -- running a martial-arts studio, flying helicopters, traveling overseas, and more, according to prosecutors.

The new allegations are similar: faking psychiatric problems to get Social Security disability benefits. Prosecutors say many recipients were advised to link their supposed symptoms to 9/11.

Two new defendants — Saverio "Sam" Esposito, 48, and Douglas Hale, 53 — are charged with collecting benefits in a fraud their fathers allegedly steered.

Esposito's lawyer, Kira Treyvus, had no immediate comment.

Douglas Hale asserts his innocence, lawyer Keith O'Halloran, said.

"We look forward to fighting these charges in court," O'Halloran said.

The defendants' fathers, retired police officer Joseph Esposito and benefits consultant Thomas Hale, are among four men accused of coaching the retirees on how to fake symptoms and taking tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks. All four deny the allegations.

Two benefits recipients have pleaded guilty since their arrests in the first wave of charges last month.

___

Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @ jennpeltz.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, WTC health, fraud, PTSD

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >