Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Florida resident convicted of stealing NYS pension checks sent to his deceased mother


Florida resident convicted of stealing NYS pension checks sent to his deceased mother
Source: Office of the State Comptroller

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that Marc A. Eletz, 70, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, pleaded guilty* Thursday to the crime of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, in Albany County Court. The plea stems from charges that Mr. Eletz stole over $275,000 in New York state pension benefits that were issued to his deceased mother.

Eletz admitted to stealing pension benefits from the New York Stateand Local Employees Retirement System payable to his deceased mother, Fay Eletz. According to the Comptroller and the Attorney General, Eletz’s father, Milton Eletz, was a New Yorkstate pensioner who elected to receive reduced monthly benefits so his wife, Fay Eletz, would continue to receive benefits after his death in 1988. From 1992 until July 2014, these benefits were deposited into a joint account held by the Marc Eletz and his mother.

After his mother died in April 2001, Eletz continued to receive these benefits until July 31, 2014, totaling $276,721.24. Eletz accessed these funds from the joint account and liquidated all but $1,801.08 of the pension benefits over that time period.

Eletz pleaded guilty before Judge Peter Lynch in Albany County Court and paid $150,000 in restitution. Eletz is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail and will sign a confession of judgment in favor of New York Statefor an additional $124,987.

This case is the latest joint investigation under the Operation Integrity partnership between the Attorney General and Comptroller, which has resulted in dozens of convictions and more than $6 million in restitution. 

The joint investigation was conducted with the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations. The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigators Barbara Butler and Mitchell Paurowski and Deputy Chief Antoine Karam.  The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella. 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Philip V. Apruzzese of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau.  The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary T. Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Stephanie Swenton and Meryl Lutsky.  The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

Since taking office in 2007, Comptroller DiNapoli has been committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse.  New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at investigations@osc.state.ny.us, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236

* A plea of guilty is deemed a conviction of the crime charged. 


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