After being convicted of charges related to stabbing himself to collect disability benefits, a former Johnson City, N.Y. police officer will deal with the harm he inflicted on himself for years to come.
Matthew Romano, 34, fabricated a story involving two unknown males, whom he claimed assaulted him on December 30, 2006, while he was on patrol. The former patrol officer then attempted to obtain 75 percent of his salary—tax free—and with cost of living increases included, for the rest of his life based on his claim that the psychological trauma he had suffered because of the incident prevented him from being able to work.
Romano mailed his application for accidental disability retirement to the New York State and Local Retirement System in Albany, N.Y. in the spring of 2009. This act would ultimately lead to the accumulation of 17 counts of mail fraud.
On Nov. 4, 2010, a jury found Romano guilty of all 17 counts, and the indictment alleged that he had fraudulently obtained salary and benefits with a false claim. The indictment also pointed out that the described assault had in fact not taken place, further alleging that Romano had inflicted injuries on himself. He was convicted for disability fraud on March 4, 2011, and was ordered to pay $91,234.39 in restitution to the city, and a $1,700 special assessment. The court ordered Romano to report to the Bureau of Prisons on April 12, 2011 to begin serving his two-year sentence.
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