Saturday, April 14, 2018
Another NY Cop, Fireman, Bouncer, Muscleman Arrested For Stealing Social Security Disability Benefits
Scott Maraio, 53, was arrested and charged with theft of government funds, making false statements in connection with Social Security disability benefits.
In 2002, at age 37 Maraio claimed he could no longer work as a firefighter, suffering neck and back injuries. He stopped working for the FDNY, began receiving Social Security disability payments.
"I cannot stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time. I cannot lift or carry more than five pounds," Maraio said in a 2002.
But from 2008 to 2018, he collected more than $364,000 in SS benefits while simultaneously earning over $450,000 as a bouncer, fire safety manager and fireguard.
A Staten Island man who was a cop and firefighter was caught side-gigging as a bouncer at a strip club and television actor while collecting hundreds of thousands on disability, authorities allege.
Scott Maraio, 53, was arrested Wednesday and charged with theft of government funds, making false statements and making false statements in connection with Social Security disability benefits, prosecutors said.
In 2002, a then 37-year-old Maraio claimed he could no longer work as a firefighter after suffering neck and back injuries while on the job. He stopped working for the FDNY, and then began receiving Social Security disability payments, said the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.
"I cannot stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time. I cannot lift or carry more than five pounds," Maraio said in a 2002 disability report, according to the court filing.
But from October 2008 to February 2018, the feds allege the defendant collected more than $364,000 in benefits for himself, his wife and children while simultaneously earning approximately $450,000 as a bouncer, fire safety manager and fireguard.
Maraio, who was a police officer for one year, allegedly did not report the extra income and arranged for the payments to be made to third-party companies, including one owned by his wife called Blondie Consultants.
He did report making about $2,000 working as an extra on television shows from 2007 to 2009, said the complaint.
While a security guard at the strip club from 2008 to 2014, he was in good shape, often on his feet and worked 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. shifts, the filing said. His duties included crowd control and checking patrons' identification.
The complaint claims the ex-cop made $110,000 as a security guard at the strip club, and earned around $11,000 in tips from "Beaver Bucks" -- the club's internal form of currency -- he redeemed for cash.
Beginning in 2012, he was working as an independent fire-related contactor at various constriction sites, including Madison Square Garden and Build it Back after Hurricane Sandy, said the complaint. His duties were to prevent fire issues and serving as a fireguard at various events.
Then, last February, Maraio was allegedly caught working full-time as a safety and loss control consultant at a department store construction site in Brooklyn.
Maraio, who public records indicate lives in Great Kills, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Two other defendants, former NYPD detective Kenneth Rubero and ex-officer Gerard Scparta, were charged in separate disability fraud schemes.
From about 1997 up to 2017, Scparta received approximately $638,000 in disability benefits for himself, his wife, and his children, during which time he earned approximately $1.6 million from his work at a strip club, the feds allege.
From about 2008 up to this February, Rubero received a total of approximately $396,000 in disability benefits for himself and his child, during which time Rubero had earned a total of over approximately $720,000 from his work with Baychester and Secure Logistics, authorities said.
"As alleged, these three defendants, all former law enforcement officers, told lie after lie to obtain a total of over one million dollars in disability benefits through fraud," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. "In doing so, they allegedly took money from truly disabled individuals who are dependent on this important source of public support. Scparta and Maraio also allegedly concealed their employment and income from the Social Security Administration by hiding behind corporate entities purportedly owned by their wives."