New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Linda Miller, 58, of Englewood, N.J., to six months in jail and five years of probation for the theft of more than $162,000 in pension benefits from the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System. Linda Miller continued to cash her mother Josephine Miller's retirement benefits until 2012, despite her mother's death in 2006. Linda Miller pleaded guilty in July 2015 to 3rd degree Grand Larceny, a class D felony, in Albany County Court before the Honorable Thomas A. Breslin.
"Linda Miller's scam spread across two states and included her theft from the New York State Pension System," said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for partnering with us to protect public money and root out corruption."
"Today's sentencing makes it clear that if you steal from our state pension system, you will be caught and you will be held accountable," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Theft from our state pension system is a serious crime because it harms all of the retirees who count on their pension for a secure retirement. Through my office's joint partnership with Comptroller DiNapoli, we will continue to fight fraud and abuse whenever and wherever we find it in state government."
Josephine Miller was a New York State pensioner, who retired from a position at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. Miller died in 2006, with no survivor designated to receive benefits. According to the Comptroller and Attorney General's Office, the defendant failed to notify the Retirement System of her mother's death. She continued to receive retirement benefits during a six year period between May 1, 2006 and August 31, 2012. All told, the Attorney General and Comptroller's Offices accused Miller of stealing over $162,000 in pension benefits.
This conviction stems from the Joint Task Force on Public Integrity, a cooperative effort between Comptroller DiNapoli and Attorney General Schneiderman to root out public corruption and the misuse of public funds by maximizing the resources of each office.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Christopher Baynes of the Public Integrity Bureau. The Public Integrity Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Daniel Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
The investigation was conducted by the Comptroller's Division of Investigations, with assistance from Investigator Dennis Churns and Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine J. Karam and Legal Analyst Sara Pogorzelski of the Attorney General's Investigations Division which is led by Chief Investigator Dominick Zarrella.
The Comptroller and Attorney General thank the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for their cooperation in this case.
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 [email protected], or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 14th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.