NEW YORK - More than 100 current and former New York City workers are being charged in connection with a disability scam stretching back more than two decades.
Authorities say the suspects, who include police officers and firefighters, faked psychiatric problems in order to get federal disability benefits. They allegedly made false claims that they couldn’t work or even leave their houses.
According to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the suspects were coached by four ringleaders who instructed them on how to intentionally fail memory tests and how to describe symptoms of depression or other mental health problems.
Vance says payouts as high as $500,000 were made from the claims, while the ringleaders made tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks.
The scheme dates back to 1988 and includes some who said they suffered ailments related to the Sept. 11 attacks.
Of the 106 people facing charges so far, 72 of them are retired NYPD officers and eight are retired members of the FDNY.
For the complete press conference on the NYC disability scheme, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.