Manhattan - (WALK) A former Long Island Rail Road employee will avoid prison despite fraudulently claiming more than $300,000 in disability benefits and lying to a federal grand jury.
Karl Brittel, 62, a former LIRR engineer now of Atlantic City, New Jersey, was sentenced to probation and six months of home confinement at U.S. District Court in Manhattan Friday. He was also ordered to pay $319,254 in restitution, and agreed to a settlement with the LIRR and surrender 15 percent of his pension.
Brittel was a resident of Long Beach on Long Island during his career with the LIRR, between 1976 and 2003. He is one of 33 people convicted for their roles in a massive, decade-long conspiracy involving LIRR employees, doctors and medical professionals who defrauded the federal Railroad retirment board. Investigators say hundreds of retirees were also involved.
Prosecutors say Brittel's relatively lenient sentence is appropriate, as Brittel cooperated with investigators, and his testimony may be helpful in bringing other lawbreakers to justice.