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Man jailed for ripping off 9/11 victims fund

Man jailed for ripping off 9/11 victims fund

1 day ago

NEW YORK (AFP) — A US man was sentenced to 30 months in jail for obtaining 1.1 million dollars from a victims fund by falsely claiming he had been injured in the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda attacks on New York, the US Justice Department said Friday.

New York District Attorney Michael Garcia said Mario Mastellone, 42, had received 1,076,789 dollars from the department's September 11 Victims Compensation Fund of 2001 based on claims he was permanently disabled in the attacks.

But justice officials showed in his trial clips from a 2002 wedding video showing Mastellone "vigorously dancing the limbo and carrying a woman on his back."

They also filmed him at his home washing his car, carrying the garbage out and shoveling snow, and photographed him involved in his pre-9/11 work as a painter.

District Judge Victor Marrero said Mastellone had "exploited and capitalized on" the 9/11 attacks, seeing them as an "opportunity to use human suffering as a license to steal."

Mastellone was also order to pay a 25,000 dollar fine and 100,000 dollars in restitution.