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2 LIRR retirees plead guilty in disability scam

December 5, 2012 3:49:17 AM PST
Two former Long Island Rail Road workers have pleaded guilty in a massive disability scam.

Prosecutors say 59-year-old James Reiser and 54-year-old Philip Pulsonetti pleaded guilty Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to wrongly claiming disability benefits upon early retirement.

Reiser, an ex-conductor from Farmingdale, faces up to 50 years in prison. He also agreed to pay back $226,000 in restitution. Pulsonetti, of Remsenburg, N.Y., faces up to 15 years in prison and must forfeit $176,000 in illegal benefits.

The months-long probe targeting the nation's second-largest commuter railroad came to a head in May when dozens of retirees and others were busted. So far, eight defendants have admitted fraud in the scheme.

LIRR serves Long Island and has 81 million riders a year, second-highest to the Metro-North system with 82 million.

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ONLINE: mta.info

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