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  #41  
Old 09-05-2017, 10:59 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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DELAWARE

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/...3-k/610765001/

Quote:
The Wilmington Treasurer's Office paid the pension of a dead woman for more than 20 years, and the city is now out nearly $73,000 that it may not be able to get back.

According to a city audit obtained by The News Journal, the unnamed pensioner received spousal benefits from June 1974 until she died in November 1997. But the city continued to direct deposit money into her bank account every other week until officials learned of her death in June of last year.

Over two decades, Wilmington paid the deceased woman $72,966.60.

"It’s an extremely unusual occurrence," said City Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter.

The city has relied on a third-party vendor that cross-checked employee and pensioner information with death records and Social Security data on a semi-annual basis. Jones-Potter said this petitioner's death did not come up in those searches because it was not documented in Social Security records.

"In this case, it's apparent that her death was not reported until many years after it occurred," she said.

When the Treasurer's Office learned about the death, the city immediately stopped payments, according to Jones-Potter. But she does not know if the city will get its money back.

"It’s in the Law Department’s hands at this time," Jones-Potter said.

John Rago, deputy chief of staff for policy and communications for Mayor Mike Purzycki, who took office in January, would not say whether the city is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether someone was spending money from the dead woman's account.

....
Other Wilmington pensioners have received payment after death, although for much shorter time periods.

A recipient of spouse-beneficiary payments was paid $1,920.84 after their death in May 2015, the audit said. The city didn't learn of the person's passing until June 2016, according to the audit.

Doesn't sound like fraud, but what is going to happen more and more often as people without relatives & with direct deposit simply have the checks go in.

Quote:
....
The report suggests ways that governments can attempt to curb posthumous payments. It recommends regularly examining the population of recipients over 90 years old to "verify if they are still living" and increasing communication with recipients and their families to remind them of their responsibility to report deaths.

Wilmington's audit, conducted from July 2015 to June 2016, found other issues in the city's pension system.

There were errors and inconsistencies in files of new pensioners, the audit found, which creates "an increased risk that benefits are paid to ineligible pensioners."

One police pensioner was overpaid $1,679.08 due to "an error in benefit calculation," the audit said.

The city auditor also found that the Treasurer's Department has disregarded a recommendation that has been made since 2011 — that it should have a comprehensive policy and procedure manual. According to the audit, lacking such a document means the department is not meeting best practices.
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  #42  
Old 10-17-2017, 09:49 PM
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http://kfdm.com/news/local/lumberton...litary-pension

Quote:
Lumberton woman who pocketed dead brother's military pension to face sentencing
Spoiler:
LUMBERTON — More than four years after Donald Brown died in Lumberton, his sister will be sentenced for theft after federal prosecutors say she pocketed more than $50,000 in Brown's military pension since his death.
Donna Flores, 60, pleaded guilty to theft of government funds earlier this year and is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 18, federal court records show.
Brown applied for pension benefits in January 2013, but he died the following March. The Department of Veteran Affairs, unaware of Brown's death, approved his application retroactively in May 2013, court documents state.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs was not notified of Brown's death and continued to process the application for pension benefits," an April factual basis and stipulation document says.
A check for $5,196 was mailed to Brown's address in May 2013, two months after his death, and his signature was forged to make a down payment on a vehicle from Cowboy Motor Company.
The document specifies that the salesperson at Cowboy Motor knew Flores took care of her brother, but was unaware of his death.

"Records from the Department of Veterans Affairs would reflect that in June 2013 the Pension Management Center established direct deposit of Brown's pension benefits to a Comerica Bank Direct Express Debit Mastercard in the name of Donald Brown," the factual basis and stipulation says. "Records from Comerica Bank establish that from June 2013 to December 2015 monthly pension benefits of 1,732 was deposited to the debit card on behalf of Brown for a total of $51,268. The entire amount of funds was depleted during that time period through a series of retail purchases and ATM withdrawals. Photographs from several ATM transactions reflect the defendant Donna Flores making the transactions."
Federal prosecutors say the total loss to Veteran Affairs was $58,196.
The theft charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Plea negotiations between prosecutors and Flores' attorney Bryan Laine are still sealed. She is set for sentencing Oct. 18 in Judge Thad Heartfield's courtroom in Beaumont.

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Old 12-10-2017, 07:51 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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NEW YORK

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/rel...scal+oversight

Quote:
State Comptroller DiNapoli & U.S. Attorney Announce Guilty Plea & Sentencing of
Former Albany Resident for Defrauding NYS Retirement System of $130,624
Spoiler:
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and United States Attorney Beth Drake announced that former Albany resident Joseph F. Grossmann, 68, pled guilty to Bank Larceny, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, 2113(b), and was sentenced to probation for three years, including one year of home confinement. Grossmann was also ordered to pay $130,624 in restitution to the New York State & Local Retirement System. Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett presided at the hearing.
"Mr. Grossmann's determination to steal from the New York State & Local Retirement System with fake documents and other schemes has ended in his guilty plea and an order for restitution to the pension fund of $130,624," State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "Thanks to our partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Offices in New York and South Carolina, Mr. Grossmann is facing justice today."
Grossmann, who now resides in Lugoff, S.C. collected retirement benefits for his sister, a former New York state employee, even though she had died. Evidence presented established that between 2010 and 2015, he received approximately $130,624 over five years, none of which he was entitled to.
The case was originally prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. The case was transferred to South Carolina to accommodate the defendant’s health and living circumstances. Assistant United States Attorney Winston David Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office handled today’s guilty plea and sentencing.

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