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April 19, 2014

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28 new indictments in NY disability fraud case

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 5:06 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — A sprawling criminal case in New York accusing more than 100 retired firefighters, police officers and others of scamming the Social Security disability system has ensnared 28 more people. They include sons of some alleged ringleaders.

They and others were released without bail after being pleading not guilty Tuesday to grand larceny and other charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. brought charges against the initial 106 defendants last month.

The new allegations are similar: faking psychiatric problems to get Social Security disability benefits. Prosecutors say many recipients were advised to invoke 9/11.

New defendants Saverio "Sam" Esposito" and Douglas Hale are accused of collecting benefits in a fraud their fathers allegedly steered.

Defense lawyer Keith O'Halloran says Hale will fight the charges. Esposito's lawyer, Kira Treyvus, had no immediate comment.

The fathers deny the allegations.