LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced that MARIO MASTELLONE
pleaded guilty today to a charge of fraudulently obtaining money
from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund. The plea was
entered in Manhattan federal court before United States District
Judge VICTOR MARRERO. According to the Indictment to which he
pleaded guilty and statements made during MASTELLONE’s guilty
MASTELLONE received approximately $1,076,789 from the
United States Department of Justice September 11 Victim
Compensation Fund of 2001 (“September 11th Fund”) based on false
claims that he had not worked since September 11, 2001, and that
he was totally and permanently disabled by that day’s attacks on
the United States. Measured by the total amount of money he
obtained, MASTELLONE’s is the largest fraud ever perpetrated
against the September 11th Fund.
The September 11th Fund was set up in the wake of the
terrorist attacks of 9/11 to compensate people who were injured
in the attacks, and was administered by the United States
Department of Justice.
MASTELLONE 41, of East Windsor, New Jersey, pleaded
guilty to one count of illegally obtaining public money. He
faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced
by Judge MARRERO on May 16, 2008.
Mr. GARCIA thanked the Department of Justice Office of
the Inspector General for their work in the investigation of this
Assistant United States Attorneys MICHAEL FARBIARZ and
JENNA DABBS are in charge of the prosecution.