Fraudsters in the city have been found to have been scamming the system for decades.
Last week, more than 100 former employees of New York City were charged with disability insurance fraud after having allegedly faked psychological issues in order to be able to collect their benefits.
According to prosecutors on the case, the total that NYC has experienced in fake claims could reach $400 million.
This total dates back over many years, to 1988. The prosecutors say that since that time there have been about $400 million in disability insurance fraud against Social Security. The prosecution in the case said that one of the people accused of faking his condition in order to collect benefits, Louis Hurtado, was starring in martial arts instructional videos as a 6th degree black belt. At the same time, he collected $470,000 over a period of 24 years because he had been claiming to the New York Police Department that he was disabled with psychological issues as well as neck injuries.
The New York Police Commissioner expressed his feelings about the disability insurance fraud issue.
Bill Bratton, the New York Police Commissioner, said that “As a New Yorker, as a U.S. citizen, I can only express disgust at the actions of the individuals involved in this scheme.” Over half of the cases of faked medical and psychological conditions in order to collect on policies have to do with events that occurred on and around 9/11, which individuals said led them unfit to be able to work.
The prosecutors in the case have stated that the ringleaders in this scam provided the individuals with instructions regarding the ways in which they should behave when doctors were examining them, such as how to ensure that they fail their memory tests. They then guided them through the application process for the benefits.
The prosecutors also added that the entire operation was led by former policemen, John Minerva and Joseph Esposito, who worked with pension consultant Thomas Hale and former FBI Agent Raymond Lavalee.
In response to these reports regarding New York disability insurance abuse. Cyrus Vance Jr., a Manhattan District Attorney, said that “The message of this indictment is that if you are considering falsifying or bilking any administration service or disability benefits, you shouldn’t, and if you do, you’re gonna get caught.”