Sept. 11 relief fund fraud should have legal consequences

While families nationwide are still trying to get over the loss of friends and relatives in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a man living in Pennsylvania filed a fraudulent claim in order to cash in. Requesting more than a million dollars in compensation funds for the death of his ex-wife, who he claimed worked in the Twin Towers, he was recently confronted by a TV reporter who had discovered that his ex-wife was still alive. Such actions are not only criminal, they are also disrespectful to those who actually lost friends or family in the attacks.

According to WFTV, Donna Lee Laskowski first suspected that her former husband was up to something when her son told her he had received a strange phone call from his father. The son, now living with his mother in Brevard County, said his father told him he “had come into a large sum” and asked him how to “invest” the money. When Laskowski investigated and called an insurance agent’s office whose name had been mentioned in the conversation the secretary in the office responded upon hearing her name, “Oh my God, your husband was here and said you were dead.”

She then learned her husband had not only claimed she was dead, but had further applied with the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund for compensation.

The stupidity of the whole endeavor can be summed up in the husband’s statement in response to the TV reporter telling him, “See, what I have a hard time understanding is, I interviewed your wife last week.” In response he said nonchalantly, “Well that changes everything, doesn’t it?” and that he would “refuse the money” because as he put it, “my wife’s alive. That’s great.”

It is highly doubtful that other families who rightfully claimed money for family members they lost in the in the attacks would agree that “it’s great” that such a scam was even attempted. But the response of the architect behind the attempted crime only makes the asinine insurance fraud even worse.

Hopefully he will realize that it indeed “changes everything” and he will face legal consequences for disrespecting the fate of actual Sept. 11 victims.