Arizona man convicted of theft of over $130,000 in NYS pension benefits intended for his deceased mother
Source: Office of the State Comptroller
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On October 28, 2016, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the conviction of John H. Eydeler III, 66, a resident of Glendale, Arizona, on his guilty plea to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C felony.
Eydeler admitted to stealing pension payments from the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System intended for his mother, Dorothy Eydeler, a retired nurse who died in October of 1998. Today, he was sentenced to a five-year term of probation and a judgment in the amount of $131,038.60.
“My office has exposed more than $2.75 million in pension fraud in recent years, and we aggressively pursued prosecution in each case,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “If you’re stealing from the retirement system, we will track you down no matter where you live and make sure you pay it back. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for his prosecution of this case and others through our Operation Integrity partnership.”
“The New York pension fund cannot serve as a personal piggy bank for those looking to scam the system,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I will continue to work with Comptroller DiNapoli to protect our pension system and send a message that fraudsters who steal from the state will be punished.”
Eydeler concealed his mother’s death in 1998 from the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System. As a result, between October 1998 and January 2010, over $130,000 in pension benefits were deposited into a bank account in the name of Eydeler’s deceased mother. Eydeler then diverted these monies to himself by claiming to have power of attorney for his mother and writing checks to himself every month for over a decade. Eydeler altered his scheme to conceal the theft, and used the monies to prop up a small automotive repair business that he owned in Glendale, Arizona.
In August 2016, the Attorney General filed an indictmentagainst Eydeler charging him with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C felony. Eydeler pleaded guilty to the indictment on October 12, 2016. Today, he was sentenced by the Honorable Stephen W. Herrick in Albany County Court to a five-year term of probation. Eydeler also confessed to a judgment being entered against him for the entire restitution amount of $131,038.60.
This case is the latest joint investigation under the Operation Integrity partnership of the Comptroller and the Attorney General, which to date has resulted in dozens of convictions and more than $11 million in restitution.
The Comptroller’s investigation was conducted by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations, working with the New York State and Local Retirement System.
The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Mitchell Paurowski and Deputy Chief Antoine Karam.
The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella. This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General John R. Healy 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 Chief Stephanie Swenton.
The Attorney General and the State Comptroller encourage anyone with additional information on this matter or any other alleged public corruption activities to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-996-4630 or the Comptroller’s office by dialing the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-888-672-4555; to file a complaint online at firstname.lastname@example.org; or to mail a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller Investigations Unit, 110 State Street, 14th floor, Albany, NY 12236.