POLITICAL observations & opinions

* just a reminder that the crooks on Wall Street are often matched by crooks closer to our everyday lives

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 30, 2011

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Long Island Rail Road workers lie about disability

to gain heftier pensions 

  • More than half of the Long Island Rail Road workers who retired last year applied for federal disability benefits, a rate far higher than the national average, even as federal officials and prosecutors tried to stem a chronic pattern of abuse of the public benefits system by the railroad’s retirees.
  • Eleven people were charged on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan with a huge fraud scheme. Most were retirees from the railroad who, prosecutors said, collected tens of thousands of dollars a year after claiming they had disabling pain; they had been observed playing tennis or golf, bicycling up to 400 miles or doing aerobics for hours.
  • Those charged included two doctors who ran “disability mills,” producing false assessments for the workers, prosecutors said. Each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted, and all have been released, some on bail and some on their own recognizance.
  • All told, more than $120 million has been paid to hundreds of workers whose disabilities may have been exaggerated, and counting future payments, prosecutors said, the total could reach $1 billion. Prosecutors could seek to reclaim payments from defendants who are convicted, but it would be up to the Railroad Retirement Board to stop payments or try to recover money from retirees who are not being prosecuted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/nyregion/lirr-retirees-still-seek-disability-benefits-at-a-high-rate.html?scp=2&sq=long%20island%20rail%20road&st=cse

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NYPD engage in systemic, broad-based

ticket fixing operation

  • Sixteen members of the New York Police Department have been indicted on charges they were involved in “highly organized, systematic” misconduct that included a large-scale ticket-fixing operation, among other allegations, city and police officials announced Friday.
  • The ticket-fixing operation allegedly involved summonses to people closely acquainted with the officers, including family members and friends. The indictments allege that some officers tampered with the tickets to result in them being thrown out, according to a press release from the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
  • More than 1,500 felony and misdemeanor charges were filed in connection with the investigation, including attempted robbery, attempted grand larceny, theft, tampering with public records, official misconduct, conspiracy and assault.
  • The indicted officers appeared in court Friday, where they received a round of applause by supporters and fellow police officers outside of the courthouse.
  • “A courtesy has now turned into a crime. And that is wrong. Something that is institutional in the NYPD and accepted has landed on the shoulders of New York City police officers,” Pat Lynch, the police union president, told reporters.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/28/justice/new-york-police-misconduct/index.html?eref=rss_us&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_us+%28RSS%3A+U.S.%29&utm_content=Netvibes

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One Response to “* just a reminder that the crooks on Wall Street are often matched by crooks closer to our everyday lives”

  1. The distinction here is that you know about these crooks because they are being INDICTED. Where are the indictments of Wall Street crooks?
    This reminds me of various local news “I-Teams” that “go after fraud” etc. They always go after little people.
    There will always be small-time crooks. This is not news. What is news, perhaps, is that these small-time crimes are widespread. Why is that? On the part of the retirees, it’s probably because they feel they don’t have enough money to retire. Maybe they lost money thanks to Wall Street shenanigans. On the part of the ticket-fixing cops, it’s probably because people feel these tickets are unfair or too punitive/disproportionate. I’m not justifying these crimes, by the way, but am merely giving some explanation of how they point out the larger unfairness.
    No way do these crimes come even close to “matching,” as you say, the crimes of Wall Street. These crimes are different in degree and even in kind in tat the Wall Streeters don’t come anywhere close to needing the money.
    I bet the media won’t point out that none of the retirees’ and cops’ cell-block-mates will be from Wall Street.

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