The Daily Grind Video

Roughly 100 retired New York City police and firefighters are in hot water after it was revealed they were involved in a Social Security disability scam that amounted to about $400 million.

According to CNN, the police and firemen — who served on September 11, 2001 — claimed they suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the wake of the terrorist attack and received funds for their fraudulent claims.

“We will chase down every penny that these dishonorable thieves fraudulently pilfered so that the truly heroic firefighters, police officers, medics, and civilians who actually risked their lives on September 11, 2001, and are now suffering because of it, can get the care that they critically need,” said James T. Hayes, Jr., special agent-in-charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York.

On Tuesday, images in court documents were released, painting a starkly different picture of servicemen claiming they were suffering post 9/11. One photograph showed a man smiling aboard a personal watercraft while flipping the bird.

Another showed men riding motorcycles and golfing. All of which prosecutors are using to determine the firefighters and police were lying about their conditions.

But is that enough?

Prosecutors also say the alleged scam spanned more than two decades, with law enforcement officers and firefighters being coached on how to behave during doctor visits in order to qualify for full disability benefits. The defendants reportedly received up to $50,000 a year because of the claims that they were no longer able to work.

“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,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said at a news conference. “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.”

The main defendants, according to CNN, are as followed:

Raymond Lavallee, 83, a lawyer and former FBI agent and Nassau County prosecutor; Thomas Hale, 89, a disability consultant; John Minerva, 61, a union official for the Detectives’ Endowment Association; and Joseph Esposito, 64, a retired police officer. Lavallee also was chief of the rackets bureau in the Nassau County District Attorney’s office.

All defendants pleaded not guilty, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. We’ll keep you updated on the latest.

SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office