More than 100 police and firefighters – some of them top commanders – have been indicted on charges of defrauding the State of New York and the U.S. government of hundreds of millions of dollars. The 106 officers, part of a larger group, filed phony disability claims that they suffered from serious psychiatric disorders, a result of their traumatic experiences during the 9/11 attacks.
Over 2,600 people were killed in the September 11, 2001 attack by Arab terrorists on the World Trade Center, including 23 New York City police offcers, 37 officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, 341 firefighters and 2 paramedics from the New York City Fire Department, and 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private emergency medical services. However, many more were injured or were later diagnosed as having long-term medical or psychological damage, and the city set up a special fund to compensate these workers.
However, according to a government investigative report, the 106 officers accused of fraud who filed for benefits from the fund and from the Social Security Administration are perfectly healthy, because their lifestyle indicates that they were not suffering in any way. According to the report, they were leading normal lives. Pictures they posted on Facebook showed them enjoying vacations, outdoor sports, jet skiing – with one even flying his own helicopter.
In addition, many of the group retired from the force, only to take on other jobs, while collecting disability and pension payments. In all, the report said, most of the officers were getting between $30,000 and $50,000 in additional cash each year, but several got substantially more, with the “champ” collecting $500,000 a year for his “disability.”
A trial date has not yet been set.