What’s in a name? Well, sometimes everything. A man from New York (whose last name phonetically resembles that of ‘Satan’) pleaded guilty for doing manual labor after retiring from the Long Island Railroad on disability. According to The New York Post, the man was part of a massive $1 billion pension scam. Satan (I’m loving this nickname) netted $36,468 in disability payments and $32,991 in pension payments in 2010.
But wait, there’s more! This guy retired as a railroad electrician in 2005 because of chronic back pain. The old devil must’ve thought he was being real sly, until his neighbor videotaped him installing an underground irrigation system. Investigators also spoke with a woman who paid the man several thousand dollars to do some home improvement work for her. This consisted of the oh-so simple task of installing ceiling fans and performing electrical and carpentry work for her. (About the back pain…)
The plot only thickens…The defendant paid an orthopedist $750 to sign off on his disability diagnosis. The doctor allegedly is part of a “disability mill” —a group of doctors who authorities say helped to help LIRR workers falsely claim work-related injuries. Good grief.
Under the plea deal negotiated with prosecutors, the defendant will spend 30 months in prison and provide $247,000 in restitution for bogus benefits. He is free on bond pending final sentencing.
The defendant is not alone. He is the first of nearly two dozen defendants to plead guilty in the $1 billion pension scam. Will he be the last? Only time will tell. Stay tuned. One thing is certain: there will be lots of lessons learned from this case on how to prevent this type of fraud in the future.