Jun 23

Jury clears man in disability fraud – 1996, Newsday

Copyright 1996 Newsday, Inc.
Newsday (New York, NY)

December 20, 1996, Friday, NASSAU AND SUFFOLK EDITION

SECTION: NEWS; Page A31

LENGTH: 244 words

HEADLINE: JURY CLEARS MAN IN DISABILITY FRAUD

BYLINE: By Tom Demoretcky. STAFF WRITER

BODY:

A federal jury in Hauppauge has cleared a former air traffic controller
from North Babylon charged with fraudulently collecting disability
benefits for 23 years.

Larry Garrett, 61, of 271 Westchester Ave., had been on trial since
Dec. 9 before U. S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley. Yesterday
afternoon, after nearly a full day of deliberation, the jury returned a not
guilty verdict on all 15 counts of mail fraud and filing false statements.

Garrett’s lawyer, Stephen Scaring, of Garden City, said that his
argument in court had been that, “They focused a major undercover
investigation on Larry Garrett because they had paid him disability for
twenty three years and that was the only way they would get him off
it.” Scaring insisted that Garrett had hurt his back in a fall caused by
defective equipment – a headset that gave him a shock – while he was
on the job.

Scaring said several jurors he spoke with after the verdict told him they
felt “there was no intent of wrongdoing.”

Richard Faughnan, who argued the case for the U.S. Attorney’s office,
was not available for comment.

The government argued that Garrett collected a tax-free check every
28 days, totalling $830,000 over 23 years and was working selling
shelving from a warehouse in Wyandanch. Scaring said, however, that
the warehouse was a family business and that Garrett was not doing
demanding tasks such as lifting and loading heavy shelving, as the
government charged.