New York City, New York – As the late NFL great and Monday Night Football co-host Don Meredith used to sing to the losing team “Turn out the lights, the party’s over”, the party ended for over 100 state employees in a 20-year-long scam to bilk the Social Security Department out of disability income. The defendants in the case include firefighters, police officers, and prison guards.
It should be noted that many of the defendants suffer from legitimate disabilities which entitled them to long-term disability income from the state of New York. However, they gamed the system to also collect Social Security Disability income which must meet a more stringent definition of being unable to work at all.
Prosecutors are alleging that the people involved received personal training from any of four ringleaders as to how to present their disability claims to the Social Security Department in order to get the additional income. While the defendants retain their presumption of innocence, the evidence against them is damning in some cases. This is because of social networking. The Facebook pages of some defendants make it obvious they were physically capable such as one robust man seen sporting a marlin in his arms while deep sea fishing and another flashing two-birds while sitting atop a large wave runner. A picture may tell a thousand words, but for some defendants it tells only three: guilty as charged.