NYPD, Firefighters Accused of Fake 9/11 Claims

Dozens charged with faking trauma to collect disability benefits
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Terrankiller
Posted Jan 7, 2014 5:02 PM CST
NYPD, Firefighters Accused of Fake 9/11 Claims
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Bethan McKernan)

Dozens of retired New York City cops and firefighters are accused of faking mental health problems so they could retire and collect disability benefits, reports ABC News. The worst part is that many cited the 9/11 attacks as the root of their problems. Ringleaders reportedly coached them on how to appear as disheveled wrecks at their benefits interviews, but prosecutors pored over their Facebook pages to find photos very much to the contrary—like the guy supposedly so traumatized by the job that he could no longer go outside who was snapped zipping around on a jet ski.

In all, 106 people were indicted by the Manhattan DA's office, including 72 former cops and eight firefighters. The New York Times calls it "one of the largest Social Security disability frauds ever." Many were caught working second jobs upon retirement, a no-no for those getting disability benefits. "It's a particularly cynical part of the charged scheme that approximately half the defendants falsely claimed that their psychiatric disabilities were caused by the 9/11 attacks,” says Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. (More NYPD stories.)

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