The mastermind behind a large-scale Social Security scam involving dozens of retired members of the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York has pleaded guilty to all charges leveled against him.
Retired Ringleaders Head Fraud
The leader is facing less than 4 ½ years behind bars by pleading guilty to first-degree grand larceny and agreeing to assist law enforcement in investigations. If he had been convicted at trial, he would have been facing 25 years.
He will have to testify against others involved in the scam and pay around $734,000 in restitutions. A Long Island lawyer, a detective's union representative, and a pension consultant are listed as other major players in the case.
Social Security Scam in New York
The scam involves around 130 members of the FDNY and NYPD that exaggerated symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other stress-related illnesses in order to obtain monthly Social Security benefits. It is estimated that around $27 million was taken from the Social Security Administration.
The ringleader referred other retirees to two psychiatrists that helped build a year's worth of medical records. These individuals were coached on how to mimic symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress when they were consulting with doctors. Once the psychiatrists made their diagnosis, applications would be submitted to Social Security.
He is responsible for recruiting many of the retirees that took part in the scam and for collecting a fee of over $28,000 from each recruit's first lump-sum check. The money would be split among the four key players.