Jan 8, 2014

More Info On Charges Against Retired Police Officers And Fire Fighters

     The Daily Beast gives a little detail on the accusations against the retired New York City police officers and fire fighters who were arrested this week on charges of defrauding the Social Security Administration. 
     I keep wondering why the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York isn't bringing federal charges in these cases. All these charges have been brought in state court. That's very odd. The U.S. Attorney must have declined to bring charges. How strong are these cases? Will they end up being plea bargained to misdemeanors?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

The US Attorneys rarely take on fraud cases. Clean, air tight, bonafide fraud cases a routinely ignored. If you happen to have a good OIG agent in your area, they often work with the local DA and get cases prosecuted.

All this talk of fighting fraud, waste and abuse is a joke for many reasons, one being the fact that our own federal attorneys wont take cases.

Anonymous said...

Second that, 9:44. U.S. Attorneys have no interest in prosecuting SSA fraud, unless it is SSN misuse related to identity theft, or checks belonging to deceased beneficiaries. OIG is mostly useless, because few cases are even given to local jurisdictions.

Anonymous said...

third that...

There is lots of talk about how the government (incl. SSA) fights fraud and abuse, but actual practice indicates otherwise.

OIG is useless, unless you find massive fraud...and even then they are reluctant.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the US Atty for the SD is a good friend with the US Atty for the ED and does not want to embarass him/her in light of the Padro settlement, where SSA and the US Atty settled a questionable class action suit of bias by five ALJs in Queens because the ALJs failed to believe the type of BS regarding alleged mental disabilities that the 100 individuals arrested apparently alleged.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the US Atty for the SD is a good friend with the US Atty for the ED and does not want to embarass him/her in light of the Padro settlement, where SSA and the US Atty settled a questionable class action suit of bias by five ALJs in Queens because the ALJs failed to believe the type of BS regarding alleged mental disabilities that the 100 individuals arrested apparently alleged.

Kat Brennan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It's not really sad. It is a disgrace to those in the uniform that believe in integrity and honor. These characters should have their pensions removed for the dishonor they have brought on New York's Finest..

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to learn whether these disability cases were allowed at the state DDS or federal ODAR levels. If most were allowed at the state DDS level, then it seems reasonable for the state prosecutor to take the lead.

Anonymous said...

re: 9:44am and 10:16am,

Right with you on this. The US attorney in our area is now refusing to prosecute any Social Security cases because "she doesn't like attestation" and also because SSA refuses to comply with her negotiated "pay $50/mo on a $50,000 fraud case" plea agreements that she routinely makes.

Our OIG agents are pretty decent, and they freely admit to us that the US Attorney won't give them the time of day. Next time our lead agent says this, I'm going to point him towards this case and ask him why they don't do the same thing. Fraud is fraud, whether prosecuted at the federal or state level.

I keep telling myself that somebody has to care, even though it is obvious that the people running SSA don't.

Anonymous said...

Comments like the one made at 6:25 always intrigue me - and not in a good way: "even though it is obvious that the people running SSA don't [care]." What is obvious to you? Isn't the point of some of the comments here in this thread not that SSA doesn't care, but that other parts of our legal system are busy prosecuting other cases? Please provide some examples that show it's obvious that the people running SSA don't care. That seems like a very myopic perspective, frankly. No one is perfect, but the majority of SSA folks - both management and front line employees - do care. People don't stop caring just because they get promoted.

I don't have to agree with - or understand - all the decisions, but I'm certain that there are a whole lot of issues vying for contention. I think most SSA folks across the spectrum are doing the best they can with the information that they have. No decision will make every single person happy - it's just not possible.

Anonymous said...

Agree 7:22. The blame here, if one is looking to cast some, lies at the feet of the US Attorneys who won't take the case and prosecute. How is SSA management responsible for their decisions and dereliction? My experience with management involved with these kinds of things is continual frustration with the US Attorneys and the fact the DOJ acquiesces to those local decisions to not prosecute. SSA spends a lot of time, staff and OIG staff, building cases that never go anywhere due to the attitude of US Attorneys. Kudos to the state for stepping in and prosecuting aspects of the case that fall under their purview.

Anonymous said...

@7:22

My impression is that inadequate staffing is a culprit. Every time I talk with counsel for SSA on the other side in my USDC cases they seem diligent but overworked. To do more they would need more people. Understaffing is a chronic problem throughout SSA now.

Another issue bothers me. For every case of disability fraud that I see documented in the news, I see several cases that are equally shocking for the fact that were denied at ALJ and AC levels despite their obvious merit. Defending such cases wastes plenty of attorney time at USDC that could be better spent going after bad guys.

In 20 years of doing this, my observation is that many of those wrongful denials are from a small number of ALJs incorrigibly making the same errors over and over again.

Reasonable people agree that the genuine fraud cases should be prosecuted. Will our dysfunctional congress fund that or just turn it into another opportunity to grandstand? It will be interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

@12:16 AM - Right on. Spot right on.

Justin