The jury in the trial of Michael Costanza, a Merrick resident and Long Island Rail Road retiree who was accused of disability fraud began deliberations on Tuesday, according to an article in Newsday.
Costanza, a former conductor and Fred Catalano, a crew foreman, were charged with being part of a decade long scheme by doctors, consultants and numerous retirees to supplement early retirement pensions with phony disability claims.
Thirty-one of 33 defendants have been convicted or have pleaded guilty to date, Newsday reported.
Costanza's attorney, Peter Tomao told Newsday that his client was being attacked over legitimate disabilities because hundreds of other LIRR workers made the same claims.
"The government wants you to be outraged by a massive conspiracy," said Costanza's attorney, Peter Tomao. "This is a trial that is not about that. For my client and . . . [Catalano] this is a trial about them, and what they did."