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NYPD Officer For Robbing WTC Program Pleads Guilty Virtually, COVID Changes Mulled

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 4 – Sally Spinosa was charged with ripping off the World Trade Center Health Program.

    On August 4, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer held a virtual change of plea proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.  

In the run-up to the plea, Spinosa's counsel explained why he preferred a virtual proceeding. Judge Engelmayer remarked that during the pandemic, lawyers have seemed to act more collegial.

He also said that is even more the case among the criminal law bar, a smaller group, than in the civil litigation context, where fewer lawyers know each other. (Inner City Press would add, other than in fields like maritime law, and suing Amtrak and MetroNorth).   Spinosa pled guilty and will be sentenced on December 1.

Afterward the US Attorney's Office put out a press release including that Spinosa "served as an NYPD officer from in or about July 1986 until July 2019, and was a sergeant in the investigations unit of the NYPD’s Patrol Services Bureau of Staten Island September 11, 2001.  In 2010, SPINOSA participated in a screening interview with the WTCHP in which she falsely stated that she worked for hundreds of hours at the Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island, NY from September 2001 to June 2002....

However, contrary to SPINOSA’s representations to the WTCHP and the VCF, in fact SPINOSA spent little to no time at the Landfill.  While SPINOSA’s original fraudulent application to the VCF was denied in 2014, she reapplied in 2017 and 2018 relying on the same false and fraudulent information.  SPINOSA’s VCF claim remains pending.

The case is US v. Spinosa, 21-cr-206 (Engelmayer)


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