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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

May 11, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli and Acting Nassau County DA Singas: Pension Scammer Sentenced Double-Dipping Retiree To Repay $465,647 To NY State Pension Fund

Retired Suffolk County Police Det. Sergeant Terrance Hoffman will repay the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System $465,647, as part of his sentence today for defrauding the retirement system in a double-dipping scheme.

Hoffman, 66, of Shirley, was sentenced to execute a confession of judgment for the full restitution in Nassau County District Court Part 9P for his conviction of the crime of permitting falsification of records of the retirement system, a D felony. As part of his guilty plea, he must repay the almost half-a-million dollars that he acquired illegally. Hoffman also agreed to forfeit all future pension payments that he would have been entitled to; those payments will be used to pay down Hoffman’s debt.

“Mr. Hoffman attempted to game the system and collect pension payments on top of a generous public salary,” State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “Safeguarding the integrity of the pension system is an essential duty of the State Comptroller. This sentence returns nearly half a million dollars to our state pension fund, My office will continue to investigate allegations of fraud and work with law enforcement to recoup money unlawfully taken from the system and our retirees. I thank Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas and her office for their hard work on this case.”

“By collecting almost a half million dollars in pension payments to which he was not entitled, Mr. Hoffman stole from a pension system that thousands of New Yorkers rely upon,” Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “I will continue to work with the State Comptroller to defend our pension system from those who attempt to claim unearned benefits at the expense of other retirees.”

Investigators found that from 1996 to 2012 Hoffman pocketed $465,647 in unlawful pension payments while earning a final full-time salary of $112,000 with Nassau Community College. Hoffman was repeatedly notified of the earnings limitations and the requirement to report his public income, but chose not to.

After an investigation conducted by DiNapoli’s office in conjunction with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, Hoffman pleaded guilty to the felony charge for deceiving the retirement system. The Comptroller’s discovery of Hoffman’s scheme was made possible by a 2012 law, proposed by DiNapoli, giving the Comptroller access to the state’s wage reporting system in order to identify state retirement system retirees working for local governments, whose earnings exceed post-retirement earnings limitations.

Investigators found that from 1996 to 2012 Hoffman pocketed $465,647 in unlawful pension payments while earning a final full-time salary of $112,000 with Nassau Community College. Hoffman was repeatedly notified of the earnings limitations and the requirement to report his public income, but chose not to.

The case was investigated by Comptroller DiNapoli’s Division of Investigations and Division of Retirement Services jointly with the Nassau District Attorney’s Office.

This matter is one of a series of investigations by DiNapoli’s office that have led to criminal convictions and recovery of unlawful retirement payments. In 2011, DiNapoli’s investigation of a double-dipping former Rome police officer resulted in the recovery of almost $90,000. DiNapoli’s 2012 investigation of double-dipping at the Troy Housing Authority led to two guilty pleas and the recovery of almost $70,000 in unlawfully paid pension earnings. In 2015, DiNapoli’s work with the Attorney General’s Office resulted in a two- to six-year prison sentence of a Florida resident for defrauding the system of over $100,000 and pending indictments of two New Jersey residents for stealing over $100,000 in pension funds.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and fraud against the state’s retirement system 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.

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