More than 130 retired New York City firefighters and police officers have been charged in a massive disability scheme related to the events which took place on 9/11. According to reports, those who allegedly took place in the scheme wrongfully claimed to have suffered from a wide variety of physical and mental health problems as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
While the exact size and scope of this massive fraud scheme is unknown, authorities believe it could be well over $400 million, making it one of the largest Social Security fraud cases ever. Following the events of 9/11, over 130 NYFD and NYPD officers reported fake illnesses ranging from insomnia and panic attacks to learning problems and physical disability.
Authorities began to notice some discrepancies in the retired police officers’ and firefighters’ reported conditions whey photos surfaces online. Glenn Lieberman, retired NYPD cop, published a photo of himself riding a jet ski on social media, which contradicts his 9/11 disability claim. “That’s about as inconsistent with being disabled and unable to perform physical or mental chores as you can get,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Other photos shows retired officers running marathons, fishing and even piloting helicopters.
To be eligible for Social Security Disability Income, an individual must be unable to work as a result of a disorder. This is essentially the principle used in the massive 9/11 fraud scheme, as 130 retired New York City police offers and firefighters made up bogus conditions which they blamed on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The current indictment names Raymond Lavellee, 81, Thomas Hale, 89, Joseph Esposito, 70, and John Minerva, 59 as the so-called “masterminds” behind the scheme.
Of course, there are actual New York City police officers and firefighters who really are suffering from mental and physical disorders due to 9/11. Electronics, building materials, paint and everything else inside the World Trade Center buildings was pulverized into dust, creating a toxic cloud that first responders were exposed to upon reaching the site. A recent study found that 55 workers have died as a result of respiratory disease and/or lung cancer since 9/11.
NYPD Chief of Internal Affairs Charles Campisi said the following:
“Their disability applications indicated that they were incapable of owning firearms. However, when we dug deeper and we checked the forms that they filed with the Police Department in order to get pistol permits, they indicated that they were of sound mind. So we had a discrepancy.“