According to the New York Post, authorities are attempting to seize $22 million in pension funds from more than 100 retired New York City police and firefighters who were indicted in a massive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) scam involving hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Post reported that Manhattan prosecutors were attempting to seize the money, which they say was gained from a disability scam. Attorneys said that there are legitimate concerns that the suspects will try to conceal the money.
Among the suspected scammers were 80 cops and firefighters who retired with three-quarters-pay disability pensions from the city, then filed fraudulent Social Security applications to get more money, the Post reported.
The suspects claimed following the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks that they were unable to mentally hold jobs, collecting SSDI. At the same time, some of them did things like teach karate, pilot helicopters, Jet Ski, deep-sea fishing and travel around the globe.
The total estimated fraud is allegedly valued at $400 million.
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This case should serve as a reminder that Social Security fraud is a crime punishable by prison time, as well as the liquidation or seizure of assets. This type of alleged fraud hurts disabled people who receive SSDI benefits legitimately by causing the public to believe that people receiving benefits are scam artists.
We will continue to blog about this story, as updates are available. If you have questions about an application for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact our Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers