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Fred Catalano, a former maintenance foreman for the Long Island Rail Road who was convicted for his role in a massive disability insurance fraud insurance scheme after jurors saw a videotape of him practicing jiujitsu after he had retired on disability, has been sentenced to 37 months in prison.
Catalano’s sentence was the longest of any ex-LIRR employee who only has been convicted of filing a false claim. At the sentencing, Judge Kimba Wood said the LIRR fraud was “breathtaking in scope” and that Catalano “was not driven to commit the fraud out of financial difficulty at all.”
After his sentencing, as reported by Newsday, Catalano said the judge “should have given me home confinement or probation” because “I’m not a threat to society.”
Prosecutors contended that Catalano retired based on a disability he planned months in advance, receiving approximately $162,000 in various benefits during the first 12 months following his retirement; that in his disability application, Catalano claimed to suffer from severe shoulder, lower back, and neck pain that made standing, sitting, walking, bathing, and dressing hard for him; that, despite that, in his last 17 months at the LIRR, he worked nearly 1,500 hours of overtime, including eight hours on his very last day of work; that in the same month that he began seeing a doctor for his purported disability, he successfully obtained a 4th degree black belt in jiujitsu; that, in the years following his retirement, he continued to train for his 5th degree black belt in jiujitsu, and has been observed attending jiujitsu and hot yoga classes; and that the video of Catalano performing jiujitsu maneuvers showed him sparring with other adult male combatants, punching and swinging his arms, lifting, kicking, spinning, twisting and rolling on the ground.
Learn more: Jury Finds 2 More Guilty in LIRR Disability Fraud Scheme – 33 Charged, 33 Convicted; 26th Guilty Plea in Massive Long Island Railroad Disability Insurance Fraud; Disabled Retirees Played Golf, Sparred, Shoveled Snow – and Worked – Prosecutors Say.
To learn even more, search for “LIRR Disability Fraud” in the search box on this page.
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