• Dean Smith

“Disabled” Camden Firefighter Collects $82,488 in Disability Payments while Competing in MMA Tourney

According to NBC 10 Philadelphia, 40-year-old Camden firefighter, Shane Streater of Camden, NJ, fraudulently received over $82,000 in state accidental disability pension (untaxed) after claiming to have sustained back and neck injuries in two fire truck accidents. While receiving his state disability pension, Streater was teaching mixed martial arts, as well as competing in mixed martial arts tournaments. Streater originally applied for the accidental disability pension in February 2009, after seeking medical attention for his “inability to engage in physical activity.” The doctor did in fact rule that Streater was totally and permanently disabled; however, the disability was not sustained on the job but deemed preexisting. In January of 2010, Streater received an ordinary disability pension (taxed and 40% of salary) from the New Jersey Police and Firemen’s Retirement System Board. Streater appealed the ruling, adamant that his injuries were sustained on the job. Streater won, but state officials finally discovered that he was a jiu jitsu instructor at least twice a week and, thanks to the internet, they found a video of Streater competing in Grapplers Quest Mixed Martial Arts Tournament that had taken place in June 2010. The board revoked Streater’s pension after learning of his activities in April 2012 (after he had already collected $82,488), and as of last month, he has been charged with theft by deception and is facing up to 10 years in prison. Acting Attorney General Hoffman said, “It’s outrageous that this former firefighter was showing off his prowess in mixed martial arts, all the while that he was lying about a disability and collecting benefits from the firemen’s pension system. His conduct was a slap in the face of his colleagues in the fire department, who continued to risk their lives to protect the public and honestly earn their pay.” Source

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