'Truly despicable crime.' Disbarred attorney sentenced for stealing nearly $1M from 9/11 responder

Disbarred Yorktown Heights attorney Gustavo Vila has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for stealing $927,000 awarded to an NYPD officer from Long Island who responded to the Sept. 11 attacks and later developed cancer.
A White Plains Federal Court judge handed down the maximum sentence Monday morning, calling it a betrayal and a “truly despicable crime.”
Vila admitted to stealing the money from John Ferreyra, who he helped get compensation for the cancer he contracted working at ground zero.
Vila, a former lieutenant and adviser to Police Commissioner William Bratton, lied to Ferreyra about the funds the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for years, saying the payment was around the corner.
Ferreyra was near death when Vila helped him apply for the fund. As he fought cancer, Vila pocketed 90% of the award.
Ferreyra had hired Vila because they were friends from having worked in the NYPD together. Vila was also pretended to be a lawyer ​while working for Ferreyra but was disbarred in 2015 for a grand larceny conviction.
The 62-year-old is ordered to three years of supervised release after serving his time and must pay $867,870.76 in restitution.
He is set to surrender himself on June 3 so he has time to get his second COVID-19 shot before heading to prison.