State and city investigators broke up an alleged disability fraud ring involving more than a dozen former NYPD and FDNY employees. NY1's Lyndsay Christian has the story.
Over a dozen city workers — from Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey — were arrested Tuesday on charges of grand larceny and insurance fraud.
The group, made up of EMT's, paramedics and traffic agents, allegedly stole over half a million dollars.
Investigators say the top individual theft was nearly $120,000.
"We had a scheme here where thirteen city employees at Fire and Police department put in forged forms claiming they were injured to get disability insurance," said Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters.
Peters said the red flag was a tip from a city employee who found one of the defendant's forged forms on a city copy machine.
It prompted a joint investigation, for several months, with the State Attorney General and Department of Financial Services.
And Peters says the case got even more complicated.
"Not only were they working, they were working overtime and billing the city for overtime at the same time engaged in scheme," Peters said.
The DOI has asked the fire and police departments to conduct a series of audits to ensure they don't have this problem going forward, with emphasis on integrity and honesty.
"This is an absolute abuse of public trust, these workers failed us," said the DOI Commissioner.
Each defendant was suspended. If convicted, they could face anywhere from seven to fifteen years in prison. The Commissioner says this is an ongoing investigation and there will be more arrests.