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Former NYC Firefighter Pleads Guilty in Disability Pension Fraud Case

04 June, 2014: John Colombi is a former New York City firefighter that resides in Castle Rock. Colombi plead guilty to a felony charge regarding an enormous disability pension fraud inquiry.

Colombi, 46, plead guilty Friday in order to reduce the charge of third-degree grand larceny. This information is in reference to New York Supreme Court records, for Colombi’s role in obtaining more than $295,000 in Social Security disability benefits. These funds had been collected since July of 2004.

There are two additional charges that will most likely be dropped as part of this plea agreement. Colombi is also going to give up two retirement bank accounts that were given to prosecutors last month. This is part of a different ongoing civil collections lawsuit against Colombi.

Colombi and Marc Gann, his attorney, responded to the efforts to contact them on Monday, although it was not an immediate response.

A chance to be vindicated

During the time of the indictments, Gann stated that Colombi "was a productive guy who wanted to work but couldn't, who had a legitimate work-related injury with legitimate issues and will ultimately be vindicated." If vindicated, all charges that he faces will not lead to jail time.

Colombi’s pension from his 14 year career as a firefighter could be affected by his plea although that is yet to be determined at this point. Colombi’s career ended due to a wrist injury sustained in a fall.

Investigators in New York City said that none of the people indicted had psychiatric conditions; conditions which would meet the requirements for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The majority of people that collectively obtained over $400 million in insurance benefits were living contradictory to the descriptions on their applications.

A number of the fire fighters said that the events of 9/11 were responsible for their injuries and illnesses. It is uncertain whether Colomi was one is included in the group.

Colombi and his wife, Frances established The Gym of Castle Rock with a second couple in August of 2008. Gann stated that Frances runs the gym and that Colombi is not an owner.

This investigation has provided prosecutors with more than 130 names. At least 100 of the accused are former police and firefighters from New York City. Most of these police and firefighters are currently collecting legal pensions.

A few of the mentioned police and firefighters have already pleaded guilty to crimes in connection to this case. None of them have been sentenced to any jail time however, sentencing will start next week.

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