New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts announced today that Becky Smith Shaver pleaded guilty to grand larceny for stealing over $2,000 in pension payments from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) intended for retiree Gary Banas.
“Ms. Smith Shaver tried to take advantage of the New York State pension system by stealing from a friend after his death. Now, she is being held accountable for her actions. I am committed to safeguarding the New York State and Local Retirement System, its members and taxpayers,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to our partnership with Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts and Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson, we were able to stop this fraud.”
For over 30 years, Banas worked for the City of Tonawanda Public Works Department. He died in December 2019. Smith Shaver, 61 of Honeoye, identified herself as Banas’ friend, and was the joint holder on his bank account. Following Banas’ death, Smith Shaver withdrew his NYSLRS pension payment of $2,076 and his Veterans Affairs benefit of $3,216. She closed the joint account after the withdrawals. Smith Shaver was not entitled to Banas’ retirement check or his Veterans Affairs benefit.
Smith Shaver pled guilty to grand larceny in the third degree and has been placed on one year of interim probation. During this time, she is ordered to pay $2,076.17 to the NYSLRS, $3,216.35 to Veterans Affairs and restitution to the pensioner’s estate. She is due back in court for sentencing on June 2, 2022.
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 https://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.