2 LIRR Retirees Plead Guilty in Disability Scam

Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012  |  Updated 9:39 PM EDT
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Amnesty Offered in LIRR Pension Scam

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File photo: A Long Island Rail Road train pulls into the station at Bethpage.

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Amnesty Offered in LIRR Pension Scam

Long Island Rail Road workers who lied about disabilities to collect big pensions with taxpayer money may be getting a "get out of jail free" card: the feds are offering an amnesty deal to hundreds of LIRR retirees believed to have taken part in a massive disability scam. Jonathan Dienst reports.
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Two former Long Island Rail Road workers have pleaded guilty in a massive disability scam.

Prosecutors say 59-year-old James Reiser and 54-year-old Philip Pulsonetti pleaded guilty Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to wrongly claiming disability benefits upon early retirement.

Reiser, an ex-conductor from Farmingdale, faces up to 50 years in prison. He also agreed to pay back $226,000 in restitution. Pulsonetti, of Remsenburg, N.Y., faces up to 15 years in prison and must forfeit $176,000 in illegal benefits.

The months-long probe targeting the nation's second-largest commuter railroad came to a head in May when dozens of retirees and others were busted. So far, eight defendants have admitted fraud in the scheme.

LIRR serves Long Island and has 81 million riders a year, second-highest to the Metro-North system with 82 million.

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