Statement Of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet BhararaOn The Convictions In U.S. V. Lesniewski, Et Al.
“Today, Peter Lesniewski, Marie Baran and Joseph Rutigliano stand convicted of participating in the massive LIRR disability fraud that turned a safety net for the truly disabled into a gravy train for the corrupt. Dr. Lesniewski enabled hundreds of LIRR employees to dupe the government through medical paper trails filled with bogus diagnoses, while Baran and Rutigliano, in exchange for payments of thousands of dollars, helped lard the employees’ disability benefit applications with lies. Lesniewski, Baran and Rutigliano served as engines of this fraud that led to a staggering 79% of LIRR retirees from 1998 to 2011 receiving federal disability benefits, costing the government hundreds of millions of dollars. Like the 25 people who previously pled guilty, these defendants now have been brought to justice and will pay for their central roles in this brazen scheme.”