Another guilty plea in LIRR disability fraud

Brian Delgiorno, one of the defendants in the Brian Delgiorno, one of the defendants in the LIRR pension arrests. (May 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Another retired Long Island Rail Road worker pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding the government by improperly obtaining a disability pension, prosecutors said.

Brian Delgiorno, 54, of Howard Beach, agreed to make restitution of $160,000 to the government and agreed to cooperate, according to a copy of a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The agreement said Delgiorno's sentence would be up to a judge.

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According to the LIRR, Delgiorno had worked for the railroad for 32 years, starting as a car cleaner in 1976 and later working as a car repairman. He was a car repairman-welder when he retired in 2008, the LIRR said.

He was the 18th person to plead guilty in an LIRR pension investigation that has resulted in charges against 32 defendants, including doctors, retirees and others.

As many as 1,500 former LIRR workers are suspected of scamming up to $1 billion from the federal Railroad Retirement Board through bogus disability claims.

The LIRR said in a statement Thursday that it has "cooperated fully with the U.S. Attorney and believes federal disability benefits should be reserved for those who are truly disabled."

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