The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 7, 1997 · Page 61
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December 7, 1997

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 61

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 7, 1997
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Page 61
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4C THE PALM BEACH POST SUNDAY. DECEMBER 7. 1997 W s C Send your Tax Deductible check to: GPliil Association For Abused Women Shelter . 2549 No. Dixie I Lake Worth, FL 33460 561-586-1888 Call for latest weather conditions, forecasts for 2,000 cities, severe weather warnings, and on the PL E R V (mm iRMRera? Guanoc Internet: DOPPLtH 1 2000 radar refreshed every three minutes, color satellite maps and boating and aviation forecasts. These are free services of NEWS 12. The Palm Beach Post and Palm Beach Interactive. Gourmet vs. Grocery We take a look at the gourmet foods business. How do stores like Sabatino's in Boca Raton and Carmine's in Palm Beach Gardens compete with supermarkets? 561 355-WPEC, Una 1212 From Jupiter to Boynton Beach 561 337-0511, Line 1212 In Martin & St. Lucie Counties http:www.GoPBI.com V iiheftJrn Beach Rjst Vr- .it MRA (1! IMNliuMH t Going Away : mm DOP .... 7 : i rati An Pi UJ1 fuuuiuii; it w -nam h u l in ; II j sjmb wai mi lira We'll Saw Your 01 t .. m ALISON REDLICHStaff Photographer Where there's cold, there's snow DELRAY BEACH - Erica Pitrack, 10, kicks up the snow Saturday as her friend, Molly Barrett, 10, makes a snowball during Kids' Day at The Tree at Old School Square. The white stuff was appropriate for the coldest weekend of the season so far. 'Now I know Christmas is coming!' Erica announced. ITte&Am Beach Post M Newspapers For You. Do you know bow your competitors are doing? PostFacts Does! Do you have the information you need on leaders in your industry? PostFacts Does! Do you have the up-to-date information you need on changes in your industry? PostFacts Does! PostFacts can search The Palm Beach Post, dating back to 1916, and hundreds of other publications to find the information you need. PostFacts YA accused of ignoring veteran's disability fraud And when you request delivery to resume, we'll deliver the newspapers we've saved for you, too. So you won't miss a thing. Coupons, sale catalogs, your favorite comics and columns: pick up right where you left off. Call 820-4663 or 1-800-654-1231 to arrange this free service. Research Services from The Palm Beach Post Call or Fax PostFacts Today! (561) 820-4000 Fax (561) 837-8409 Prices start at v5. All orders must be prepaid. : Major credit cards accepted. By Noah Bierman Palm Beach Post Staff Writer PORT ST. LUCIE - In numerous pictures and home videos, William Ilitt appears strong and healthy. The 71-year-old World War II veteran walks around town stepgrandson squirms on the floor. In one video, Hitt looks directly at the camera and laughs. "Show this ... to Social Security. Tell them things are tough," he says to the camera's lens. Jteftlm Beach ftwt carrying loads of groceries, laughs at family gatherings and raises his right hand to toast his good for tune. ; But the United States Veter ans Administration saw a different picture of the house-painter when he showed up for medical exami nations. His right hand would clench into an inflexible fist, and hed lean on a cane or use wheelchair. ! Since the early 1980s, Ilitt was classified as fully disabled by the VA. And despite the fact that he occasionally carried gallons of a highly-skilled, eminently qualified professional who's probably been with Northern Trust for years. I View's never been a better time for you to pick (I h'tter hinJi. Has your bank merged lately? Did you wind up somewhere you never intended to be? Handled by people who are remote and unresponsive? Instead of sitting back and accepting this as something inevitable, you can do something about it Switch to a better bank. And, in some cases, decades. If you decide to call us on the phone, you won't be shuttled into a voice-mail holding pattern, you will simply speak directly with your private banker. 108 years of integrity, a $26 billion hank, and $1 trillion in trust assets. Northern Trust is a significant, stable, progressive bank that's succeeded by treating clients as valued We're not tlie bank for everybody. An account at Northern Trust is not for everybody. However, that's precisely what makes us so desirable to a select group of discerning individuals who demand a higher level of service from their bank. We may be the bank for you. Northern Trust paint for the painting business he owned with his son-in-law, he received nearly a half-million tax-free dollars for his inability to work. He had a handicap parking pass and received allowances for special clothing. He got money to adjust his car for disabled use even after he lost his license for drunken driving. "It's offensive to every veteran who ever served his country that was truly injured in combat," U.S. Attorney John Kastrenakes said after Hitt went on trial for fraud in July. A jury found Hitt guilty of 40 counts of mail and wire fraud, meaning he could be sentenced to as many as 200 years in prison when he goes before a federal judge in Fort Pierce this week, authorities said. ' Hitt's attorney said the VA knew what it was doing when it certified Hitt's disabilities. ' At Hitt's last evaluation, the doctor saw FBI surveillance pictures and read its investigation, yet still certified his disability, said defense attorney Michael Kessler. "The VA is a large bureaucratic organization with a number of different layers of bureaucracy," Kessler said. "People that actually deal face to face with the veterans are very pro-veterans and encourage the veterans to apply for anything they may be eligible for." , Kastrenakes said the VA doctor saw only a portion of the evidence against Hitt when he was recertified. ; "The VA did no investigation whatsoever into this man," Kastrenakes said. In fact, Hitt was injured in the war. Records show his right hand was caught in an ammunition-loading device when he was on a Navy submarine. His leg and shoulder were both injured. He needed surgery. Hitt wanted a career in the Navy, but had to take an honorary discharge, Kessler said. : At first, Hitt was classified as 50 percent disabled. Over time, the VA lowered the rating to 10 percent. ! Hitt told authorities he could do no more than hand out tools from a sitting position, but coworkers and business associates testified in July that Hitt performed all the rigorous tasks of a painter. He climbed on scaffoldings and lifted heavy cans of paint. ; In all, Hitt received nearly a half-million tax-free dollars. Although he legitimately should have received some benefits, the government said he took $354,954 more than he deserved. In 1996 the FBI got a tip. They began following Hitt, photographing him while he walked around and used his right hand. In home videos, he waiks around with a drink in his right hand ihile his severely disabled partners and not as numbers printed at the bottom of a deposit slip. We provide personalized, professional service in private banking, trust and asset management. offers individual attention along with every sophisticated &4 financial service that successful Floridians reauire. Our reputation provides financial peace of mind. Ileal people. No recorded voices. Just your very own private banker. tM3 We welcome the opportunity to meet with you in private and in person. If you wish to schedule an When you become a Northern Trust client, you'll meet in confidence with your own private banker appointment, please call Sherry Barrat at (561)622-4600 or (800)682-3521 or visit one of our offices. Northern Trust BanR The Private Bank Member FDIC Boca Raton Delray Beach North Palm Beach Palm Beach i o .m m ,4

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