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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

September 10, 2015, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli and A.G. Schneiderman Announce Conviction of Florida Resident For Stealing $275k in NYS Pension Benefits

Defendant Stole Pension Benefits Issued to His Deceased Mother; Expected Sentence: One Year in Jail, Already Paid $150,000 Restitution, and Signed a $274,987 Judgment

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, pleaded guilty today 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.

“Mr. Eletz concealed his mother’s death to pocket her pension,” State Comptroller DiNapoli said. “We uncovered the theft and tracked him down, which led to today’s plea and our recovery of $275,000 in stolen retirement funds. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for partnering with us to find and prosecute those who steal public retirement funds.”

“Theft from our state’s pension system is detrimental to all New York taxpayers and robs retirees who rely on their hard-earned pensions,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Through our Operation Integrity partnership, Comptroller DiNapoli and I will continue working tirelessly to root out and prosecute those who commit pension fraud, and protect taxpayer dollars.”

Eletz admitted to stealing pension benefits from the New York State and 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 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. 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 today before Judge Peter Lynch in Albany County Court and paid $150,000 in restitution. On November 5, Eletz is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail and will sign a confession of judgment in favor of New York State for 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, 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 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. See prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.

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