I-Team: Feds Make More Arrests in LIRR Disability Pension Fraud Probe

FBI agents and state investigators arrested as many as ten more Long Island Rail Road workers collecting disability pensions early Wednesday

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FBI agents and state investigators arrested more Long Island Rail Road workers Wednesday for allegedly collecting scam disability pensions, the FBI confirmed to NBC 4 New York. 

In this latest round of arrests, as many as ten LIRR workers are charged in connection with the massive fraud dating back to 1998 in which nearly every LIRR worker who claimed to be disabled upon early retirement received a disability pension, law enforcement sources said.

The charges announced today by prosecutors brings to 32 the number of participants in the disability pension fraud scheme. Ten retirees were arrested in May and one more was arrested in July. Eleven people, including two doctors, were arrested in the first round of busts in October 2011.

In explaining the fraud, prosecutors say LIRR employees who are eligible to retire at age 50 with an LIRR pension routinely sought to supplement their pension by fraudulently obtaining a separate Railroad Retirement Board disability annuity which when combined with their LIRR pension equaled or exceeded their pre-retirement income.  The fraud was committed with the involvement of facilitators who served as liaisons between the workers and doctors participating in the scheme. 

The typical disabilities claimed were various musculoskeletal impairments.

Among the ten charged today, one retiree obtained a 4th degree black belt in jiu jitsu, another retiree became an active firefighter, and a third retiree became an ironworker, court documents say.


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