More than 100 people were rounded up and arrested Tuesday morning as part of a massive investigation into disability fraud in the New York City area, authorities said Tuesday.
The alleged ringleaders, which included 83-year-old Raymond Lavallee, a former Nassau County assistant district attorney, and retired police officer John Minerva, surrendered to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, according to prosecutors.
Approximately 80 additional police and firefighters, mostly from the tri-state area but some from as far away as Florida, also were arrested in the multiagency sweep that started at 5:30 a.m.
Most of the police and firefighters arrested are former New York City workers, prosecutors said.
Millions in claims over decades, prosecutors say
According to the allegations, police and firefighters falsely claimed stress-related illnesses to pocket tens of millions of dollars in disability benefits. Many of the suspects also received 9/11 pensions, sources said. As the case unfolds with potentially more arrests, the fraud dollar amount could rise even further, authorities said.
More “public servants” doing little more than serving themselves at the public’s expense.
Isn’t it nice to know police officers, firemen, FBI agents, District Attorneys and others with great power have just as many criminals amongst them as any other profession (and maybe even more, because those kinds of powers are very attractive to sociopaths)?
We give them guns, and the power to harass, arrest, and prosecute us, and then they turn around and abuse that power to enrich themselves in ways that make many of the criminals they, themselves, arrested seem like amateurs.
This is why penalties for public officials should be greater than those for the average citizen–a betrayal of the public trust is essentially treason against the American People. Perhaps it should be punished at that level, because it is more of a threat to our nation than an attack from without–it brings into question the entire system of governance.
The Founders understood this—power must be limited, and with significant checks on abuse. Stories like this remind us once again how wise they were, and what fools we are for abandoning what they crafted.