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Letters: LIRR disability fraud is maddening

Joseph Rutigliano, a retired LIRR employee, exits federal

Joseph Rutigliano, a retired LIRR employee, exits federal court in Manhattan. Rutigliano was one of 10 people arrested by federal agents in connection with a $300 million scheme to defraud the Long Island Rail Road on disability claims. (Oct. 27, 2011) Credit: Patrick McCarthy

Does anyone wonder why the cost to travel on the Long Island Rail Road is so high? ["Feds allege: Great train robbery: Long-running fraud allegedly produced hundreds of phony disability claims," News, Oct. 28]. I feel we should make these fraud mongers pay back every cent to the LIRR (and to the riders who overpay because of their fraud).

Maybe the rate hikes would not be so extreme or so frequent. If found guilty, these suspects' pensions should be revoked as well, and they should try to live on Social Security like the rest of us. Why not make them sell their vacation homes and relinquish their golf club memberships to pay back some of their ill-gotten gains?

Susan B. Lyons, Freeport

I'm so glad that the net was finally cast on LIRR pension thieves. I hope they have to start worrying about finances as I do every day, thinking about paying for my kids' college educations.

They got relieved of that stress for many years while I sweated and was delayed for so many hours on their brutally ineffective railroad. If the punishment should fit the crime, I say make them commute into the city every day for the next 10 years.

Kevin H. Fox, Jericho

Thank you, Newsday, for covering the massive LIRR fraud. Please stay on top of this with frequent updates, and lots of pictures of the people who thought they could claim disability and bilk us out of millions for years.

Peter LaMassa, Massapequa Park

Workers who knowingly filed false disability claims should go to jail. At the very least, they should have to give back every penny that they received, with interest.

Michael Franklin, Jericho

This gravy train is only temporarily derailed. It will be back even bigger, because there is almost an envious willingness to jump on the gravy train, for the amounts of money these people have stolen from the government. Wait a minute, that's us.

This is the club: the unions and the municipal organizations that make this business as usual. They will tell you they earned it, they deserve it and people like me are just envious that we don't have that special brotherhood to cash in on. No, I am just tired of paying for everyone else's jackpot hit, in amounts that are very close to hitting the lottery.

This happens in every municipal job. You name the job, and you can find business-as-usual planning, two to three years before retirement, to pump up overtime so the last years' total inflates by 30 percent or more, robbing the public again and again in complete arrogance.

To add insult to injury, retired public employees generally do not pay state taxes on their pensions.

Nick Giroffi, Hicksville

Perhaps once we prosecute and recover some of those millions of dollars, plus the millions the suspects are set to fraudulently collect in the future, we'll be able to reduce LIRR fares and perhaps even upgrade service. Maybe a few signals could be upgraded so that they don't malfunction when somebody sneezes on them!

Bob Schwartz, Ronkonkoma