CRIME

Former officers, firefighters arrested in 9/11 disability scam

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(ABC) - One by one, former police officers and firefighters arrived in cuffs as a result of more than two dozen new arrests -- part of a widening dragnet over a scam linked to 9/11.

Prosecutors say the defendants stole from the Social Security Administration, some faking 9/11-related post-traumatic stress to claim disability payments.

In reality, more than 130 accused in the scheme have been living high on life.

In court filings last month, prosecutors cited photos, videos and social media postings that show the defendants "do not appear to be disabled," despite claiming they "could not use a computer, could not drive, or could not shop."

Former police officer Glenn Lieberman, who arraigned last month and is seen here on a jet ski, received $175,000 over four years after reportedly saying he couldn't go outside.

Prosecutors say some of the defendants claimed up to $500,000 apiece, with the entire operation costing taxpayers north of $400 million.

For families of 9/11 heroes, the latest allegations are a deep disappointment.

George Siller lost his brother Steven, a firefighter.

"It puts a mark against people like that who are so dedicated and truly represent what the fire and police department are," he said.

Prosecutors say four ringleaders arrested last month coached the defendants to appear disoriented in psychological evaluations. The acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration will testify about the alleged fraud Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

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