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11 charged in possible $1B NY rail pension probe

Feds say 11 charged in Long Island Rail Road pension fraud that might total up to $1 billion By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Authorities in New York say 11 people ' including two orthopedists ' face federal charges in an investigation of alleged fraud in the pension system used by Long Island Rail Road employees. Prosecutors say the scheme could total $1 billion.

The defendants Thursday also included a former union official.

The criminal complaint says a retired engineering manager often played tennis and golf while collecting about $105,000 yearly in combined pension and disability payments.

LIRR President Helena Williams has said the federal agency acted as a rubber stamp without consulting the railroad.

In 2009, an investigative arm of Congress found that the system approved nearly 100 percent of claims filed by retired LIRR workers ' a higher rate than other commuter railroads.

A 2008 New York Times investigation prompted criminal investigations.

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