New York (WALK) - The Long Island Rail Road will move agressively to revoke the pensions of about 600 retirees, all of whom were examined by an orthopedist who later admitted signing off on hundreds of fraudulent disability claims.
LIRR officials made their plans public Tuesday, promising to pursue retirees examined by Dr. Peter Ajemian of Rockville Centre, even though they have not yet been criminally charged. Ajemian admitted approving disability claims for workers who were not, in fact, disabled, and was convicted of fraud. He was sentenced in May to serve eight years in prison.
The 600 retirees examined by Ajemian are collecting a total off about $2 million per month in federal disability benefits, according to the Federal Railroad Retirement Board. The LIRR will send notices to those individuals in early July. If the attempt to revoke their pensions succeeds, it would be unprecedented, according to legal authorities.
Investigators say the decade-long railroad disability scheme involved dozens of former LIRR employees, and medical and insurance personnel who bilked taxpayers out of an estimated $9 billion.