It would be nice to see this guy get a little time in the pen!
Man Says Wife Died In 9/11 Tragedy, But She Didn't
UPDATED: 5:21 PM EST February 5, 2004
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. -- The September 11th terrorist attacks killed many, many people. And, in a way, they took the life of a Brevard County woman who wasn't even there. This is a story of 9-11 fraud and deceit and someone trying to cheat the system.
"It's great, Florida in the sunshine. We've been very, very, very happy," says Donna Laskowski.
For Donna and her two sons, life was finally on the right track. They moved to Florida to get away and hide from an abusive father and ex-husband. Even years later, the boys don't want their faces shown. All was fine, until son Stephen got a strange phone call.
The message was from Stephen's father and said the family had come into a large sum of money.
"He was asking me all kinds of questions about how to deal with, invest the money. I had no clue what he was talking about," explains Stephen.
Confused by the message, Stephen called his father back and, during the conversation, heard the name of the family's old insurance agent in Pennsylvania. So, Donna decided to call that office to find out what was going on. She got the receptionist.
"'Oh dear, God. My God. Oh God, Donna,' she said, 'You're alive,'" explains Laskowski. "[She said,] 'I don't believe you're alive. Oh my God, your husband was here and said you were dead.'"
Stephen Laskowski, Sr. had claimed Donna was working on the 12th floor of one of the towers of the World Trade Center when it came crashing down. He had turned in paperwork requesting more than a million dollars from the 9/11 Victim's Compensation Fund, just a week before the cut-off.
Donna's name was even listed on the victim's compensation website as a victim.
"That's when it hit me how bad this was," says Laskowski.
But what he did didn't surprise Donna. The family says, when they left behind their home in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, they also left behind a conman, a dangerous, but bright, individual who was always looking for new ways to interfere in their lives.
Channel 9 reporter Scott Thuman tracked down Stephen Laskowski, Sr. at his Pennsylvania home.
"Yes, my wife, Donna Lee Laskowski, died in the World Trade Center [on] September 11th," he said.
"See, what I have a hard time understanding is, I interviewed your wife last week," Thuman informed him.
"You did? Where?" asked Laskowski, Sr.
"You understand these papers that you filed with the government claim that she died in the towers. Your wife told me she never has been to New York, never been to the World Trade Center," Thuman said.
"You sure you're talking about the right Donna Lee Laskowski?" he asked.
"Yes," Thuman replied.
To which Laskowski, Sr. said, "Well that changes everything, doesn't it?"
He claimed it's all a misunderstanding, even though he had talked to his sons since 9/11 and, they say, never brought up that their mother might be dead.
Laskowski now says, he would refuse the money. "My wife's alive. That's great," he said.
Donna has since contacted multiple agencies, including the FBI and 9/11 compensation group, but has yet to see action. So she, and her boys, still, won't rest easy.
"Maybe this one big thing that he did, if justice is served properly, he'll stop. This will be an ending point," Donna says.
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02-05-2004, 06:00 PM #1
Another candidate enters the scumbag of the week race
02-05-2004, 06:40 PM #2
Things that make you go hmmmm......
02-05-2004, 07:10 PM #3
While I have never been one to hold much faith in the Human Race, every time I hear one of these 9-11 fraud stories it makes my stomach turn.
I know it has nothing to do with New York or the folks there, as these kinds of morons would be pulling the same scam in Toronto, or LA if they got the chance. But is sure makes you question the lengths we often go to to help these people, when this is what they do to thank you.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
02-06-2004, 12:52 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Irwin, PA
This guy isn't the scumbag of the week. He may be the scumbag of all time.Thomas Anthony, PE
Structures Specialist PA-TF1 & PA-ST1
Paramedic / Rescue Tech North Huntington Twp EMS
The artist formerly known as Captain 10-2
No, I am not a water rescue technician, but I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
02-06-2004, 03:47 PM #5
This doesn't suprise me at all. I'd be more suprised if there weren't a few cases like this. In my district we have nearly a dozen chemical plants, a truck stop and several companies providing services to these plants ie trucking companies, chemical storage facilities, tank cleaning services, etc... Every once in a while a chemical release will occur. Usually it's something small, a popoff valve will malfunction or a flange will leak, you know, little stuff which hardly affects the community. Still, the plants are required to notify EOC and we are paged out to monitor the situation and shut down roads if necessary. A very profitable industry has arisen from this in the form of local lawers who specialise in filing class action lawsuits against these plants for the most minor of infractions. Within hours of our being paged out for a HazMat call the petitions are circulating within the community to sign up for the class actions. Wind direction and amount of exposure doesn't seem to be a factor in these suits. At the prison where I worked at >2000 inmates each receive several hundered dollars from a suit against a plant which had a release which didn't even drift in the direction of the prison. Even though the prison was upwind at the time, the facility went into 'shelter in place' as a precaution incase the wind changed direction. So all of the inmates, but no staff, wree allowed to sign up for the class action suit.
The citizens of this City also benefit by not only signing up themselves but any family members or friends that they can think of. After a recent settlement a couple of our volunteer FFs were working at a local convienciance store and had a steady flow of people stopping throughout the day asking for directions to the City Hall. They were there to pick up settlement checks for the chemical release yet many freely admitted to never even have visited our City or being out of town when it occured. They had been signed up by a family member or friend who lived in town and if asked would say that the day of the incident they were visiting that person for a family reunion or other such event. FRAUD.
So am I discussed at the guy faking his wifes death at WTC? Yes.Am I suprised at it happening? No. I'm more suprised that the person caught perpetrating this fraud wasn't someone who lived withing my fire district.
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