The tragic terrorist attack of 9/11 will forever be seared into the hearts, memories and spirits of Americans as they collectively watched the twin towers collapse in New York City that awful morning. Now the memory of that horrendous day has been smeared by the unjustified conduct of many former first responders who are now charged with massive disability fraud.
According to USA Today, over 100 people and at least 80 New York City firefighters and police officers are being charged for faking disabilities based, “in some cases based on 9/11 rescue work.”
The Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance commented that the defendants collected tens of thousands of dollars a year in Social Security disability benefits by claiming “they were completely incapacitated by serious psychiatric disorders and other ailments,” reported USA Today.
The disgraced first responders, according to ABC News were “falsely claiming to be suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of the 9/11 terror attacks,” attested New York City prosecutors. The disability scam allegedly cost New York taxpayers millions of dollars and netted some disability awards up to a half million dollars stated the indictment.
What is truly sad about their indefensible conduct is how the disability scheme places a pall over the sacrifice and diligent conduct on the heroic efforts by first responders who gave their lives that dreadful morning. The fake “misery for profit scheme” is contemptible on so many levels.
The investigation of the defendants was handled by James T. Hayes who stressed that,” Many of those arrested were part of an “insidious scheme” to profit off “the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history,” attests USA Today. Hayes is special-agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York.
The defendants each collected between $20,000 and $50,000. During the investigation the principals who were arrested were seen to be living lifestyles that were remarkably different than what was claimed when they filed for benefits, suggested the press statement.
In addition, in the defendant’s applications some alleged that they were so traumatically impacted by their 9/11 day experience that they could not even operate a computer, yet far too many had active Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Shame and dishonor is too good a description concerning their behavior. For thirty pieces of silver they sold out their fellow first responders who made the ultimate professional sacrifice. Stiff prison sentences may be just too good a punishment for them.