NJ 9/11 fund cheat found liable for $3M in damages

The defendant was sentenced in 2008 to 2 1/2 years in prison for defrauding the fund


Associated Press

NEW YORK — A painter who worked at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and cheated a victims' compensation fund by faking a disability has been found liable for more than $3 million in damages.

Federal prosecutors on Wednesday announced the decision by a U.S. District Court judge to fine Mario Mastellone.

The defendant was sentenced in 2008 to 2 1/2 years in prison for defrauding the fund out of more than $1 million by claiming he was permanently disabled because of injuries he suffered in the attacks. The East Windsor, N.J., man's claim was later debunked in part when authorities obtained a video showing him dancing the limbo at a wedding.

Prosecutors say Mastellone pleaded guilty. He earned $70,000 a year as a painter at the World Trade Center.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recommended Homeland Security

Join the discussion