by Brian Mahany
We strive to be the best fraud and tax law firm. Anywhere. Many of our blog posts concern fraud; usually cases we are involved in or stories we hear from our clients and readers. Mortgage fraud, stockbrokers who mislead investors, accountants and lawyers that take advantage of clients and companies that are ripping of taxpayers (whistleblower and false claims cases). Every now and then we also stop to read what others are seeing and writing about. This is one of those stories.
According to an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, 98% of retiring Long Island Rail Road workers immediately filed for disability after retiring from the rail road! That is a shocking statistic and surely indicates fraud.
The statistics come from a New York Times investigation in 2008. What this means is that these folks are drawing both a pension and disability. The problem is that you and me are paying for both. I don’t begrudge unions, union workers or people from collecting a pension. Just don’t retire on a Monday perfectly healthy and claim you are disabled on Tuesday. That makes a mockery out of the system and demeans those folks who truly are disabled.
Locally, I recently learned about a disabled county worker… so “disabled”, he had a side construction job and was photographed on a roof swinging a hammer. The dollars are not that much but when everyone starts doing it and thinking its okay we have a serious problem.
Preet Bahara, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan (not for Long Island where the rail road is located), recently indicted 11 “disabled” LIRR workers. Bahara, a very aggressive prosecutor who has done wonderful work prosecuting Wall Street greed and large banks, offered an amnesty to other rail road workers falsely claiming disability. Come in, give up your disability payments and walk away with no threat of jail. Those folks don’t have to give up their retirement pay and they don’t have to return any of the money illegally obtained.
Sounds like a great deal, right? A lawyer representing railway workers expects that none will accept the amnesty. NONE.
Either Bahara has made a grievous mistake or the entitlement mentality among railway workers has gone out of control. We have enjoyed great experiences working with Bahara’s office and expect that his assessment of the fraud is accurate.
I share this story simply to demonstrate how ingrained fraud and the entitlement mentality has become. Hard work built this country but it is rampant fraud and an attitude that “everyone else does it, why shouldn’t I?” that will lead to our slow decline as a nation.
Fraud is wrong. If you have been victimized by a stockbroker, bank, attorney or financial professional; speak up and fight back. If you know of false Medicaid billing, mortgage practices that lead to nonperforming loans or contractors outsourcing goods that are supposed to be made in America; speak up. (Whistleblowers can receive large cash awards for their information.) We proudly help whistleblowers and victims of fraud.
For more information, contact attorney Anthony Dietz at . Believe that you have information about a fraud against the government and wish to see if you qualify as a whistleblower? Contact the author, attorney Brian Mahany at or by telephone at (direct). All inquiries are kept in strict confidence and protected by the attorney – client privilege.
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