NEW YORK (CNN) – Authorities say more than 100 retired New York City police and firefighters have been indicted in a massive scam involving 9/11.
More than half of those indicted received funds for fraudulent claims of post traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
Investigators say the scam spanned more than a decade and involved hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prosecutors say law enforcement officers and firefighters were coached on how to behave during doctor visits in order to qualify for full disability benefits.
William Bratton, the police commissioner with the New York City Police Department, said, “As a New Yorker, as a U.S. citizen, I can only express disgust at the actions of these individuals involved in this scheme, particularly the 72 former members of the New York City Police Department who have certainly disgraced themselves, embarrassed their families, with their abuse of this system. The idea that many of them chose the events of 9/11 to claim as the basis of the disability brings further dishonor to themselves.”
Investigators say the defendants received up to $50,000 a year because they claimed they were no longer able to work.
Of the defendants, 72 were also collecting pensions as retirees of the New York City Police Department, eight from the New York City Fire Department, five from the New York Department of Correction and one from the Nassau County Police Department.
Prosecutors said the defendants were instructed on how to fail memory tests, how to dress and how to behave.
Authorities say nearly every application included identical descriptions of the activities of daily living.