Pasco man accused of disability fraud - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco man accused of disability fraud

Posted: Updated:
Louis Hurtado Louis Hurtado
Louis Hurtado, a former New York City Police officer and Martial Arts instructor in Odessa, is one of 100 people accused of disability fraud.

Detectives say retired NYPD officers and firefighters are cashing in on fraudulent disability claims for post-traumatic stress disorder because of the September 11 terror attacks.

Pasco County deputies arrested Hurtado Tuesday. He's being held in the Pasco County Jail and will be sent back to New York.

Authorities say the scam spanned more than two decades and police officers and firefighters were coached on what to say in doctor offices to get full disability benefits. Some were getting up to $50,000 because they claimed they couldn't work.

"This fraud not only forced federal taxpayers to finance the lifestyles of New York scammers, it also took away, importantly, the already limited resources we have for people who actually suffered from psychiatric disabilities," said Cy run Vance, Manhattan District Attorney. "That includes, of course, the brave first responders who ran toward the fires on September 11th, and who now suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder."

At his first appearance, Hurtado told the judge he had the means to hire his own attorney, and did not with the court to appoint one. He also said he would not fight extradition back to New York.

Hurtado owns the VIP Black Belt Champions Training Center in Odessa. He's smiling on their website that says he's "trained black belts."

Two years ago, he teamed up with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office to offer domestic violence defense training to women. Sheriff Chris Nocco says his office had no reason to believe there were any skeletons in his closet.

"We knew he was former law enforcement. We knew there were a lot of people in the community who used vip karate, but at the same time, we don't check people's benefits, we don't know if they're on disability, we just knew we had somebody who taught karate and did a great class for us," said Nocco.


  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:55:30 GMT
    Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 4:01 AM EDT2014-04-22 08:01:42 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Tampa homeowner says Duke Energy is a bully for taking her oak tree

    Monday, April 21 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-04-21 21:34:15 GMT
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
    Neda Dandache and her family love their backyard oasis, even though a gigantic Duke Energy transmission tower abuts their backyard. Oak trees block that view, for now, and give them shade.The trees have never been an issue, but now, Duke wants them gone. Dandache says Duke's forester told her they may cause a problem - seven years from now."
  • NewsMore>>

  • SKorea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher

    SKorea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:36 AM EDT2014-04-23 06:36:03 GMT
    The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching 150, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin...
    The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching 150, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to...
  • Australia signals deeper search for Malaysian jet

    Australia signals deeper search for Malaysian jet

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:04 AM EDT2014-04-23 06:04:44 GMT
    As the search continued off the coast of Australia for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet on Monday, the airline announced another plane bound for India was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its tires...
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned to soon bring in...
  • Canadiens sweep Lightning with 4-3 win

    Canadiens sweep Lightning with 4-3 win

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:35:42 GMT
    Max Pacioretty lifted the Montreal Canadiens into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday night with a power-play goal with 43 seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory and a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay.The first team to advance this year, the Canadiens also got goals from Daniel Briere, Brendan Gallagher and Lars Eller. Montreal now faces a long wait for the Eastern Conference semifinal against the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist for Tampa Ba...
    Max Pacioretty lifted the Montreal Canadiens into the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs Tuesday night with a power-play goal with 43 seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory and a four-game sweep of Tampa Bay.The first team to advance this year, the Canadiens also got goals from Daniel Briere, Brendan Gallagher and Lars Eller. Montreal now faces a long wait for the Eastern Conference semifinal against the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist for Tampa Ba...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.