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LIRR retiree to be sentenced for fraud

Convicted Long Island Rail Road disability fraudster Gary Satin bragged that working people were "suckers" because he had figured out a way to get money for doing nothing, federal prosecutors charged in a sentencing memorandum Thursday.

Satin, 63, a onetime LIRR electrician formerly of Baldwin, pleaded guilty last year to perjury and to lying in order to get a disability annuity from the federal Railroad Retirement Board as part of what prosecutors say was a massive scheme to rip off the government by former LIRR workers.

In a test of how seriously the courts will take the fraud, Satin is scheduled Friday to become the first of dozens of retirees charged in the case to be sentenced in federal court in Manhattan. Satin has asked for probation, while prosecutors say he should get 24 to 30 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero will sentence him.

The sentencing memorandum said that, by claiming a variety of ailments that kept him from working, Satin got a phony $36,468 annual disability -- receiving a total of $247,000 through last year -- but moved to Mooresville, N.C., and began doing landscaping, electrical and contracting work.

"An individual reported that Satin bragged that others were 'suckers' because Satin is paid thousands of dollars a month for 'not working,' " prosecutors said. He also used his phony disability to get a "handicapped" sticker on his license plate, they said -- and later lied about it to a grand jury.

Prosecutors called Satin's case a "blueprint" for a "culture of fraud" ingrained at the LIRR.

Satin's lawyer, William Wexler of North Babylon, said he questioned the "veracity" of the alleged "suckers" comment, because prosecutors did not identify their source. In his sentencing memo, Wexler described Satin as a good father, husband and neighbor who had been active in community service, including the Nassau police auxiliary.

"Mr. Satin's crimes should not erase a lifetime of good deeds," Wexler wrote. "A sentence of probation will be punishment enough."


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