More retired cops, firefighters indicted in alleged disability s - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

More retired cops, firefighters indicted in alleged disability scam

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A Manhattan grand jury has indicted 32 people, including some retired cops and firefighters, in a massive alleged Social Security disability fraud, District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced Tuesday. These new indictments are on top of ones handed down previously in the alleged scam.

Authorities previously arrested and charged Raymond Lavallee, 83, Thomas Hale, 89, Joseph Esposito, 64, and John Minerva, 61. The four now face additional charges of grand larceny in the second degree and conspiracy in the fourth degree.

"Last month's indictment was the first step in ending a massive fraud against American taxpayers," Vance said in a statement. "These defendants are accused of gaming the system by lying about their lifestyle, including their ability to work, drive, handle money, shop, and socialize, in order to obtain benefits to which they were not entitled. Their lies were repetitive and extensive."

Vance said that for 25 years Lavallee, Hale, Esposito, and Minerva basically coached many SSDI applicants, including NPD and FDNY retirees, to lie about their psychiatric conditions so they could get benefits and then got cash kickbacks for their help.

The grand jury indicted 17 NYPD retirees, four FDNY retires, and a retired corrections officer. They are accused of fraudulently collecting tens of thousands in disability benefits. In fact, one retired cop is accused of illegally raking in $395,000 in government money, according to the indictment.

The defendants held their heads down as they were led into court to face the charges. These are the latest defendants in more than 100 people who have been rounded up since January in what Vance is calling one of the biggest disability scams in history.

All of the defendants pleaded not guilty.

Fox 5 spoke with one defense attorney outside court who said his two clients dispute the charges and have been seeing doctors for a long time.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    WTC shipwreck mystery solved

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:08:14 GMT
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
    Archeologists say they've solved a mystery that started with the rebuilding at ground zero. During the excavation at the World Trade Center Site, workers uncovered part of an old ship. No one knew where it came from. Now after years of study, researchers believe the sloop dates back to 1773, built from wood harvested from Pennsylvania, the same kind used to build Independence Hall.
  • NYC subway report card

    NYC subway report card

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:09:16 GMT
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
    "A mixed bag": That's how the Straphangers Campaign characterizes New York City subways; some good parts and some bad. For example, the C train breaks down most often, not surprising since the line has 50-year-old cars. But C trains were also the cleanest in the transit system.Straphangers said the worst subway trains were the IRT's No. 2.
  • Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Injured detective in Village shootout leaves hospital

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:28:00 GMT
    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato.

    The third law enforcement officer injured in a Manhattan shootout is out of the hospital. The NYPD says Detective Mario Muniz was left Bellevue Hospital shortly after noon on Wednesday. Hundreds of his fellow police officers cheered as Muniz left the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by his NYPD patrol partner, Joseph Trovato. Police Commissioner William Bratton has said the detective's protective vest may have saved his life.


Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices