New York - (WALK) A former Long Island Rail Road conductor accused of disability-pension fraud is back in custody after a federal judge revoked his bail for allegedly threatening to kill a witness against him.
Thomas Coscetta, 62, of Southold, is scheduled to appear in court September 23, but was ordered to be detained Saturday after prosecutors say he was overheard while trapshooting at a Long Island gun club threatening to kill a member for a preceived betrayal.
Coscetta retired from the LIRR claiming back, wrist and knee pain that resulted in "shaking in his hands," among other symptoms but competed in trapshooting competitions, according to prosecutors. He is chairman and a trustee at the Mattituck Gun Club in Cutchogue, according to published accounts.
The federal judge determined Coscetta is a danger to the witness, but no criminal charges were filed against him for the alleged threats.
Coscetta is accused of participating in a decade-long scam among LIRR retirees and medical professionals who signed off on allegedly phony disabilities to fool the federal Rail Road Retirement Board, which approves disability claims. Of 33 defendants charged, 29 have pleaded guilty or were convicted. Coscetta reportedly received $84,000 during his first year of retirement.