.

Local Docs Charged in $1B LIRR Disability Scam

Dr. Peter Ajemian and Dr. Peter Lesniewski were among those who allegedly took part in a $1 billion scam for retiring LIRR workers.

Two local doctors were among 10 people arrested by the FBI Thursday and accused of participating in a $1 billion disability scam for retiring LIRR workers.

The case grew out of a New York Times investigation in 2008 that reported a very high number of retiring workers winning claims of work-related injuries to boost their pensions.

The two doctors charged were Dr. Peter Ajemian of Syosset and Dr. Peter Lesniewski of Rockville Centre. Ajemian was employed at a Rockville Centre-based practice until his termination in late 2008. He currently operates a practice in Baldwin. Lesniewski is an orthopedic surgeon in East Meadow.

Court documents accused them of scamming the retirement system by filing false claims of injuries so they could collect an extra benefit from the Railroad Retirement Board.

"The defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a massive fraud scheme in which LIRR workers who were ready to retire falsely claimed to be disabled," federal authorities charged in a 74-page criminal complaint.

Specifically, the complaint stated Ajemian recommended "at least 734 LIRR employees for disability," while Lesniewski recommended "approximately 222 LIRR workers for disability benefits."

LIRR President Helena Williams said the organization "condemns any fraudulent activity associated with federal disability pension benefits."

"In August 2008 when the LIRR became aware of the high rate of LIRR retiree applications, the LIRR asked the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) IG and the MTA IG to investigate."

This is a breaking news story and Patch will update it as more information becomes available. Anthony Bottan contributed to this story.

Alex Cepero October 27, 2011 at 08:13 PM
How has this railroad dodged a complete and thorough federal investigation by now? Top to bottom. From Helena Williams who offers up every excuse in the book for the LIRR's shortcomings to station cleaners. This disability fraud is just the tip of a very large, titanic sized iceberg.
Frank October 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Explains why my train fare is so expensive!!! take a minute on this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/nyregion/10-arrested-in-1-billion-lirr-disability-scheme.html 400 mile bike ride?... golf 100 times a year? LIRR riders get played again and again and again...
Jaime Sumersille October 28, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Thanks @Frank - we linked to that story in our article as well!
Interested Bystander November 03, 2011 at 04:01 PM
The real question is how come they are not going after these disability pensions and canelling them. The folks who go em and paid off the docs are equally guilty of fraud.
tara ginocchio May 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
NOT DEFENDING THE FRAUD BUT SERIOUSLY YOUR FARES HAVENT GONE UP BECAUSE OF THAT, THEY WENT UP BECAUSE THERE WASNT A FARE INCREASE IN SOOOOOOO MANY YEARS. IF YOU DONT BUY YOUR TICKET ON THE TRAIN IT IS PRETTY REASONABLE. PLUS ALOT OF PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE CITY GET REIMBURSED FOR THEIR COMMUTE...AND IF THEY DONT THEN THEY MAKE PLENTY OF MONEY TO COVER IT. IF YOU DONT MAKE A DECENT SALARY IN NY OR GETTING REIMBURSED FOR TRAVEL YOU SHOULDNT BE WORKING IN THE CITY!
Frank May 23, 2012 at 09:55 PM
@ Tara... WHAT? Only people I know who ride for free are MTA/LIRR employees. Public Employees, Seniors, and Students get discounts. BUT the majority pay full fare. i know very few people that commute to the city that get reimbursed by their employers. there's a pretax commuting spending account, but that's technically your money. LIRR is a gigantic dinosaur and as corrupt as the MTA. 40% of those fares are for pensions and benefits.... Way too much to ask the riding public to absorb. you must be a LIRR employee. I hope they throw each one of those scofflaws and the drs that abetting them in this BILLION DOLLAR fraud scheme in jail for life.
Sani Fornus July 31, 2013 at 02:25 PM
This fraud is nothing compared to Social Security Disability fraud. Most of the workers being granted SS disability nowadays are no more disabled than the man in the moon. Dishonest claimants, phony doctors, greedy grasping attorneys!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something