In 2008, Mario Mastellone of New Jersey was convicted after defrauding the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. He was found liable September, 12 2011 (ten years and one day after the 9/11 attacks) to the United Staes for more than $3 million in treble damages and civil penalties.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was established to help provide financial assistance to those physically injured or those that lost their lives as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Mastellone was given $1,076,789 out of the fund after he applied to the fund in 2003 saying he had been “permanently and totally disabled” after September 11th – Source.
In 2008 Mastellone was caught in his web of lies after a videotape from a 2002 wedding reception surfaced, showing the “victim” doing the limbo and “vigorously dancing,” showing no injury or permeant disability –Source.
Clips of the alleged wedding video were posted to YouTube by none other than the infamous New York Post, which can be seen below.
In 2008, Mastellone come forth and admitted lying on the application and pled guilty to fund fraud. On June 13, 2008 he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for fraud.
In 2010 the U.S. started a civil fraud action against Mastellone under the False Claims Act. Now, Mastellone owes treble damages, resulting in over $3 million, back to the government.
The Court granted the Government’s request that it impose the maximum civil penalty, holding that “Mastellone’s deception –- defrauding a fund meant to alleviate the suffering of 9/11 victims – is sufficiently serious to warrant the maximum penalty.” – Source.
Not only did this one man and his greed fraud the government but he also took needed money from individuals and families that were genuinely devastated by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We’ve seen Mastellone’s happy dance; I wonder what his guilty dance looks like…
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