More than 100 former police officers and firefighters were indicted last month for allegedly falsely claiming 9/11-related psychiatric conditions to obtain Social Security disability benefits. Now, authorities say 28 more people have been indicted as the Manhattan District Attorney's office continues to dig into the fraud allegations.
According to an indictment filed by Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance in early January, 106 defendents were implicated in the alleged fraud scandal; four principal defendants—Raymond Lavallee, 83, Thomas Hale, 89, Joseph Esposito, 64 and John Minerva, 61—are believed to have orchestrated the scheme, coaching retired cops and firefighters on the symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, referring them to psychiatrists and otherwise aiding them in stealing as much as $400 million in disability payments from the federal government.There is nothing inherently wrong with being a security person or firefighter. They would be needed even in a Private Property Society. But when they are manipulated and controlled by the state, their incentives and view of the world can become seriously distorted. There are a few good ones out there, but not many.
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