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The retired New York City police officers and firefighters showed up for their psychiatric exams disheveled and disoriented, most following a nearly identical script.
They had been coached on how to fail memory tests, feign panic attacks and, if they had worked during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to talk about their fear of airplanes and entering skyscrapers, prosecutors said. And they were told to make it clear they could not leave the house, much less find a job.
“The brazenness is shocking,” Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said on Tuesday.
An indictment unsealed on Monday by the Manhattan district attorney’s office charges 106 people, four of whom are accused of running the scheme. The group was headed by Raymond Lavallee, 83, a Long Island lawyer who started his career as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and once served as a senior Nassau County prosecutor, court papers said.