Since taking office, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has fought against the abuse of public funds. One of his top priorities is to protect the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) from pension scammers.
To date, DiNapoli’s investigations of retirement fraud have led to 24 arrests and the recovery of nearly $3 million in retirement funds. Here are some cases from earlier this year:
Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of Dead Mother’s Benefits
A Madison County woman pleaded guilty to a felony grand larceny charge for collecting $67,000 of her dead mother’s NYSLRS pension checks. When her mother died in 2009, Tammy Banack did not inform NYSLRS or her bank, and her mother’s pension checks continued to be deposited in a joint checking account. Banack agreed to repay the stolen pension benefits and received five years’ probation.
Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Pension Checks
A Brooklyn man was arrested for cashing over $22,000 of his mother’s NYSLRS pension checks after she died. Jimmie Buie pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to three years in prison. He was also ordered to repay the money. The office of New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman assisted in this case and the Banack case.
Town Clerk Admits Faking Retirement Benefits
Following a review of monthly retirement reports, the Office of the State Comptroller discovered that a town clerk had been unlawfully using a town computer to inflate her retirement service credit. Springport Town Clerk Deborah Waldron pleaded guilty, resigned and paid fines and surcharges. Her actual hours and benefits were recalculated to ensure she does not receive extra money she did not earn.
Brother Guilty of Bank Larceny in Pension Scheme
Joseph F. Grossmann, a former Albany resident, pled guilty to Bank Larceny after he used fake documents and other schemes to collect $130,624 in his deceased sister’s name. He was sentenced to three years of probation (including one year of home confinement) and ordered to pay back the money.
To learn more about how Comptroller DiNapoli safeguards public funds, and how you can help, visit the Comptroller’s Fighting Public Corruption page. You can also read about past pension fraud investigations.
I am so thankful that Comptroller DiNapoli is looking after our pension funds especially in a time when the government is trying to find ways to balance their budgets at the hands of the people (we learned this when the Social Security Funds were invaded). It’s easy to say that the funds will be paid back, but when the time comes and there is no money to pay them back, it is those who planned on those funds being there who ultimately pay the real price. Thank you Mr. DiNapoli
I see the Brooklyn Man Jimmy Buir plead guilty and got 3 years jail time the other thief’s stole more mone they got probation! By their names sounds like the two who got off may be Caucasins and the one who went to jail for least money sounds African American. There always seems to be disparity In jail time regarding different races. So unfair! They all should have got jail time and lost their pensions if they got one
That’s great – they caught the “frauders” – BUT probabtion?? Really!! Just probation? Boy that will teach them all not to do that again. sheese!
I feel all of these offenders here should have received jail time. And if the offender is in the retirement system themselves they shouldn’t be able to collect any pension money other than what they contributed!
We retiree´s are so fortunate and grateful to know that the pension funds are being monitored for fraud and other illegal activity. Thank you and keep up the good work.