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>>

  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • Hillsborough residents claim water company retaliates against them

    Hillsborough residents claim water company retaliates against them

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:08:40 GMT
    After East Lake residents fed up with stinky, cloudy water won a big battle against their utility company, they say Pluris American Infrastructure is retaliating against them.
    After East Lake residents fed up with stinky, cloudy water won a big battle against their utility company, they say Pluris American Infrastructure is retaliating against them.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Captain of sunken South Korean ferry arrested

    Captain of sunken South Korean ferry arrested

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:11:39 GMT
    Rescuers scrambled to find hundreds of ferry passengers still missing Friday and feared dead, as fresh questions emerged about whether quicker action by the captain of the doomed ship could have saved lives.
    The captain of a sunken South Korean ferry was arrested Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need, as investigators looked into whether his evacuation order came too late to save lives. Two crew...
  • Rodents, roaches close 6 Tampa Bay restaurants

    Rodents, roaches close 6 Tampa Bay restaurants

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:47:53 GMT
    State inspectors found rodents or roaches and temporarily closed six Tampa Bay eateries on our list of restaurants with the most violations from April 7 to 13, 2014.
    State inspectors found rodents or roaches and temporarily closed six Tampa Bay eateries on our list of restaurants with the most violations from April 7 to 13, 2014.
  • $100,000 bond for Citrus dad accused of killing son so he could play video games

    $100,000 bond for Citrus dad accused of killing son so he could play video games

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:43:14 GMT
    Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, of Homosassa, is charged with child neglect with great bodily harm and third-degree murder in connection with the death of his son, Daymeon Wygant.
    Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, of Homosassa, is charged with child neglect with great bodily harm and third-degree murder in connection with the death of his son, Daymeon Wygant.
  • 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.