The fallout from the ongoing saga of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) scandal continues.
Two more defendants have pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday, before a trial set to begin next month, including the office manager for one of the doctors who stands accused of filing hundreds of phony insurance claims.
Maria Rusin, of Farmingdale, and Regina Walsh, of New Hyde Park, have both pleaded guilty. Rusin formerly managed the office of Dr. Peter Ajemian of Rockville Centre. Walsh is the former director of employee services at the LIRR.
The pleas from the two women now brings the number of defendants who have admitted guilt to 16. In total, 32 have been charged with wrongdoing thus far, though it is believed there are far more involved.
Rusin was charged with more than 40 counts of fraud and conspiracy. According to authorities, she was apparently respoinsible for helping LIRR retirees prepare medical claims, along with Ajemian and two other doctors, who allegedly approved insurance claims that could have cost the federal Railroad Retirement Board as much as one billion dollars.
Rusin pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of a health care fraud investigation. She faces a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Walsh was accused of claiming that sitting at a desk caused her neck and shoulder pain whenever she stood for more than five minutes. Yet, Walsh was seen shoveling snow later on. Walsh, by pleading, admitted that she had exaggerated her symptoms and ability to work. She too faces up to five years in prison.
Ajemian, three retirees that he diagnosed, and a former manager of the Railroad Retirement Board still face trial on charges they submitted false disability claims.