New York Cops, Firefighters in Massive 9/11 Fraud, Indictment Says

PHOTO: Evidence in the 9/11 disability fraud case released by the Manhattan District attorney.ABC News – by AARON KATERSKY

More than 100 retired New York City cops, firefighters and correction officers were charged today with falsely claiming to be suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the 9/11 terror attacks, New York prosecutors said today.

The alleged scam won awards up to $500,000 for the uniformed personnel and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to the indictment.  

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the suspects “cynically manufactured claims of mental illness as a result of Sept 11th… dishonoring the first responders.”

Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “The retired members of the NYP indicted in this case have disgraced all first responders who perished during the search and rescue efforts on Sept. 11, 2001.”

How to Fake Depression

The prosecution backed up its case with recorded phone calls of the suspects being coached on how to behave in front of a medical board and photos of the suspects doing vigorous activity like jet skiing, doing mixed martial arts, and going on cruises after convincing doctors they were unable to leave their homes.

Today’s arrests cap a two year investigation, aided by federal investigators, the city’s Department of Investigation and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

The alleged fraud cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in improper Social Security benefits.

The indictment charges four men with masterminding the alleged fraud, including attorney Raymond Lavellee, 81, Thomas Hale, 89, Joseph Esposito, 70, and John Minerva, 59.

Hale is president of a firm that determines eligibility for Social Security disability. Esposito is a former NYPD employee and Minerva is an ex-cop who is currently a disability consultant for the Detectives Endowment Association.

None of the accused actually suffered from debilitating stress, officials claim. Many were caught working after retirement, a violation of disability benefits.

And some of the retired officers retained their gun permits. Retired officers cannot possess guns if they are being treated for stress.

Court papers included what prosecutors said were recorded phone calls in which Esposito “coached” the officers how to dress and behave and now to muff questions to show that lacked concentration.

“They’re liable to say… spell the word ‘world,’ so you go ‘W-R-L-D.’ Then they’re gonnna say ‘Spell it backwards.’ You think about it, and you can’t spell it backwards,” Esposito was recorded saying.

He allegedly told officers claiming that their debilitating anxieties stemmed from the 9/11 attacks to tell examiners they were “afraid of planes and entering large buildings.”

The 9/11 attacks took a heavy toll on the city’s cops, called “New York’s Finest,” and firefighters, dubbed “New York’s Bravest.” The casualty count from the terror attacks included 23 police officers and 343 firefighters.

Most of the arrests in the fraud sweep took place in the city, with others being busted in Florida and elsewhere in New York State.

It was the second 9/11 scam to be revealed this week. On Monday, two New Jersey men pleaded guilty to raising and keeping $50,000 for a Sept. 11 charity that was supposed to help families who lost loved one in the catastrophe.

Thomas Scalgione and Mark Niemczyk never gave any of the more than $50,000 in proceeds to the victims’ families or to charities as promised, they told the court.

10 thoughts on “New York Cops, Firefighters in Massive 9/11 Fraud, Indictment Says

  1. You mean these cops and firemen, who were almost murdered by their own govt on 9 / 1 1, Are collecting THEIR money for disability, that that same govt illegally stole from them their entire lives ? WHERE IS THE REAL CRIME HERE ? At least its going BACK to an american in these cases. Maybe they are wrong, maybe they are not, just saying……

    1. Remember Confusious that these very same cops would screw you and me for minor offences while at the same time they think that they can go out and commit felonies that would easily end most in prison for a long time. Yes, I think that when you are in a position of authority and get busted for something that mandatory enhanced charges are in order. By the way Confusious, don`t forget how many cops murder civilians every day. Cops intentionaly murder innocent people every day without faceing charges. It is way long over due that those like cops get nailed to the wall for shit like this. 😯 🙁

  2. Every one of these guys should be sent to prison for this insurance fraud as they had no sign of stopping. They did this, then how many other frauds have they been involved in that they haven`t been caught for. Screw them guys that were caught just like any one else – difference is that they should have enhanced penalties because they are some of those that are supposed to be trust worthy. 🙁

  3. So according to Obama they should all lose their gun rights too , do you really think that will happen? Not a chance unless they don’t play along , just like when they played along on 9-11-2001

  4. Wasnt saying they were justified… More so i was saying it was the pot calling the kettle black type of thing.

  5. Most of these guys absolutely KNOW 911 was an inside job and have kept their mouths shut.

    The NYFD particularly piss me off. They have over 300 of their “brothers” knowingly murdered on 911 and barely a peep from them.

  6. Fraud against WHOM!?

    It’s a fraud because the government, says it is, eh?

    If there’s some people that deserve this money, it’s the firefighters at the scene on 9/11!

    The firefighters applied legally, for all the urgent, much needed treatment for the effects of the asbestos smoke and other chemicals, for the benefits legally, but the insurance companies / Feds, denied them – in an insolent, contempteous manner.

    They were sick and dying, in need of medical help, but were DENIED!

    On the other hand, the most MASSIVE, fraud, so unbelievable, so much so, that we can count the amount of money, is being done by the Federal government, the Congress- the pResident, his dual-citizenship Advisors, and the Federal Reserve creeps,stealing the perks, the time off, the fancy cafeteria, the vacations, the HUGE salaries for doing NOTHING, they being bought on top of this by lobbyists, the private parties, the security guards to guard their sorry skins of these Traitors to us, ALL PAID FOR by We, THE People…..ALL MASSIVE FRAUD, but the little people can’t!?

    If any people should be forgiven what small wrong they’ve done, it’s the “boots” in the military and the “Firefighters of 9/11.”

    1. Yes Norma, and don`t forget that we the people also paid for that separate jet to fly obama`s damned dogs with the dog walkers in. Yea, a jet just for his dog walkers and two dogs.

    2. Thou shall not steal no matter who you are government agent or not.
      As digger stated in a previous post above individuals who work for government in any shape or form should be held to a higher standard and punished with harsher sentencing because of this. Might be a deterrent but not likely as they already cover for each other as they will in this case also. Such a shame the special treatment agents of the government get compared to an average joe who works for themselves or some other private business.

  7. 911 was a damn fraud to begin with! Put these assholes behind bars. I don’t give a damn who the hell they saved. Many of us here would have done the same damned thing, whether wearing a uniform or not. Simple as f#$king that. These asswipes are gaming the rest of us. This ass hole that is giving everybody the finger in the pic. Start with him.

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