More than 100 people were reported to federal authorities after submitting similar Social Security Disability claims citing “stress-related” illnesses.
The majority of the claims came from retired New York City cops and firefighters, according to the New York Daily News.
The Social Security Administration grew suspicious when it kept seeing the same diagnoses on claims stating the applicant was mentally or emotionally unfit to work.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is expecting to announce arrests stemming from the scam next week.
Some of the beneficiaries are receiving 9/11 pensions, sources told the Daily News.
At least two doctors and other medical professionals could also face charges. Sources say that for each “patient” they helped scam the social security system they would collect a kickback.
Federal authorities initially refused to launch a full-scale investigation. The district attorney’s office looked into the claims and found at least one of the scammers still had a gun permit despite his mental health diagnosis.
Retired NYPD can’t possess a firearm if they are being treated for stress-related or mental health problems.
The Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD joined the investigation and discovered other retired cops scamming the system.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed a new police commissioner, William Bratton, on Wednesday. The 66-year-old Bratton has promised to reform the NYPD in the wake of the controversial federal ruling on stop-and-frisk.
The mayor referred to Bratton as a "progressive crime-fighter."