February 4, 2016, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015
Comptroller DiNapoli and AG Schneiderman Announce Sentencing in Theft of Over $274,000 in State Pension Benefits
Defendant Stole Pension Benefits Issued to His Deceased Mother from April 2001 through July 2014
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Marc A. Eletz, 70, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, was sentenced in Albany County Court to 5 months in jail, $200,000 in restitution and signed a confession of judgment in the amount of $74,920.16 for stealing $274,920.16 in New York State pension benefits. Eletz previously pleaded guilty to the crime of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, in September 2015.
“Mr. Eletz thought he could steal his mother’s pension, but we exposed his theft and recovered nearly $275,000 for the retirement system,” State Comptroller DiNapoli said. “I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for partnering with us to prosecute these crimes.”
“Workers across New York count on their pension for a secure retirement, and I will continue to prosecute those who steal from our state pension system,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Those who steal from the state pension are stealing from all of the people who have earned a secure retirement and that is simply unacceptable.”
Eletz admitted to stealing the pension benefits from the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System issued to his deceased mother, Fay Eletz. Eletz’s father, Milton Eletz, was a New York State 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 defendant and his mother. Eletz admitted that after his mother died in April 2001 he continued to receive these benefits into the joint account through July 31, 2014, totaling $274,920.16.
This case is the latest joint investigation under the Operation Integrity partnership of the Attorney General and Comptroller which has resulted in dozens of convictions and more than $6 million in restitution.
Eletz was sentenced today by the Honorable Judge Peter A. Lynch in Albany County Court to 5 months in jail. In addition to incarceration, Eletz has paid $200,000 in restitution to date, and he also signed a confession of judgment for the remaining monies owed to New York State.
The Comptroller’s investigation was conducted by his Division of Investigations and the New York State and Local Retirement System.
This case was 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 Chief Stephanie Swenton. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigators Christopher Bzduch and Mitchell Paurowski and Deputy Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.
See prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.