STONY POINT, N.Y. -- A former New York City police officer who lives in Stony Point has admitted stealing $600,000 in disability benefits, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
Thomas Shea, 56, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan to one count of theft of government funds, Bharara said.
Shea faces 10 years behind bars.
According to the U.S. attorney, Shea began working for the NYPD in 1981. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987 and retired in 1993 because of a shoulder injury.
In 1995, Shea applied for Social Security disability benefits, saying he was unable to work.
Meanwhile, he had several jobs, including one as a commercial driver in the Bronx, Bharara said.
Last year, the Social Security Administration re-examined Shea’s eligibility for benefits. After an investigation, it found Shea’s application “was based on tainted evidence submitted by a discredited physician” and there was no evidence from a non-tainted source supporting Shea’s claims, the U.S. attorney said.
The ex-cop, who now owes $622,843 in restitution and forfeiture, is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
“Thomas Shea defrauded the Social Security Administration for over twenty years, fraudulently collecting more than half a million dollars of funds meant for people who are the truly disabled," Bharara said.