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Arrests Made In Alleged $1 Billion Disability Scheme On Long Island

An alleged scandal involving doctors, a union president and hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers led to the arrest of 10 people today on charges related to what officials say was a scam that paid an estimated $1 billion in disability benefits to people who didn't deserve them.

The New York Times, which in 2008 uncovered a pattern of "systematic abuses of Railroad Retirement Board pensions by Long Island Rail Road workers" that prompted the investigation, writes today that those arrested include "a doctor and a former union president."

Newsday says the federal complaint charges "that from 1998 through 2011 three doctors signed off on dozens of phony disability claims to the Railroad Retirement Board." And the newspaper writes that the complaint charges that:

"Defendant doctors ... and a third doctor, now deceased, accounted for 86 percent of the disability claims filed during the 13-year period, running 'disability mills' that allegedly received 'millions of dollars' in corrupt payments from patients and insurers."

Newsday has posted the federal complaint here. In it, authorities allege that:

-- One defendant, who was collecting $105,000 annually in pension and disability benefits and claimed he suffered severe pain when gripping hand tools, "played tennis several times per week" and in 2008, "signed in to play golf" at one course 140 times in nine months.

-- Another defendant who claimed to have "disabling pain" and received more than $90,000 a year in pension and disability benefits, was observed "vigorously exercising at a gym for more than two consecutive hours, including approximately 45 minutes in a step aerobics class."

The complaint has several other such examples.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

Sun-Powered Airplane Completes Historic Trip Around The World

"This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it's before all a first in the history of energy," Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard says. His plane flew more than 26,700 miles without using fuel.

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