A former NYPD officer from the area will spend time behind bars for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in disability benefits over two decades while continuing to work security at a strip club.
Gerard Scparta, 54, of Campbell Hall in Orange County, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for obtaining approximately $630,000 in disability benefits from the Social Security Administration and underreporting income on his taxes by approximately $268,000.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman noted that while Scparta was obtaining his disability benefits, he earned $1.6 million working as a security guard at a strip club in Manhattan.
Scparta began as an NYPD police officer in 1986. In 1997, after reportedly sustaining an injury at the age of 32, Scparta and another individual conspired to fraudulently obtain disability benefits. Scparta’s co-conspirator submitted materials that falsely stated that Scparta suffered from severe depression and anxiety, and was unable to do anything around his house or work in any capacity.
Berman said that Scparta also made similar statements to the physicians evaluating him. In one instance, Scparta pretended that he didn’t know where he was and could not remember the last four vice presidents. He also pretended to have trouble repeating numbers that were spoken to him.
Those instances were submitted to the Social Security Administration and he began receiving disability benefits in 1997.
In addition to his prison sentence, Scparta must also pay $726,517 in restitution and he was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Scparta will also forfeiture $638,586 in Social Security benefits he obtained.
“Gerard Scparta, a former NYPD officer, illegally collected over $630,000 in disability benefits by claiming that he could not work in any capacity due to anxiety and depression,” Berman stated. “During the very same time period, Scparta felt well enough to earn over $1.6 million working at a Manhattan strip club.
“Gerard Scparta perverted the Disability Insurance system for his own personal gain, depleting a system intended for people with legitimate claims who depend on those benefits for their well-being. For his reprehensible conduct, Scparta has been sentenced to federal prison and will trade velvet ropes for steel bars.”
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