A West Islip man charged in an alleged decade-long Long Island Railroad disability pension scheme pleaded guilty Friday.
Thomas Delalla, 54, pleaded guilty to seven federal charges including fraud, perjury and conspiracy, Newsday reports. Delalla is accused of partaking in "strenuous and athletic actions" while collecting combined disability and pension payments of more than $10,000 a month, prosecutor Dayna Perry said in May. He is also alleged to have racked up thousands of overtime hours to boost his LIRR pension before claiming the phony disability.
Delalla applied for disability payments in December 2008 and sent in recertification papers in 2011, according to the indictment.
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He faces up to 85 years in prison for all charges, though potential time served and financial penalties could be affected by the level of Delalla's cooperation with federal authorities.
As part of the plea, Delalla has agreed to pay back $156,742 in wrongfully obtained pension benefits, Newsday reports.
A total of 12 people have pleaded guilty in the scheme, while another 20 await trial.
Prosecutors estimate that as many as 1,500 former LIRR employees are involved in scamming the federal Railroad Retirement Board out of upwards of $1 billion through false disability claims.
- West Islip Man Charged in LIRR Disability Scam