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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015


DiNapoli: Georgia Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Her Deceased Father's NY State Pension Checks

August 16, 2023

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Albany County District Attorney David Soares and the New York State Police today announced that Alayne Bertolino pleaded guilty to stealing more than $240,000 in New York state pension payments made to her deceased father.

“This case should serve as a warning to those who would try to defraud our state’s pension fund — you will be caught,” DiNapoli said. “My thanks to Albany County District Attorney David Soares and the New York State Police for their partnership with my office’s Division of Investigations. Working together we ensured the pension fund was protected, restitution was paid and justice was served.”

“The loss of a loved one is always a difficult emotional period, but it should never be used to profit from the hard work of taxpayers,” said Assistant District Attorney Erin Bates, who is handling the prosecution of this case. “We hope this resolution helps to restore trust in the justice system by sending a clear message: the law will hold anyone accountable for trying to exploit the system for financial gain. When applied properly, justice holds everyone accountable, regardless of their position.”

New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli said, “I commend the diligent work of our State Police members, along with our partners at the State Comptroller’s Office and Albany District Attorney’s Office, for their hard work in putting an end to this fraudulent and dishonest act. Ms. Bertolino deplorably took advantage of her deceased father’s hard-earned pension to support her own selfish needs. Today’s guilty plea is proof that we will not tolerate the actions of those willing to defraud the New York state pension fund.”

The defendant’s father, Joseph Bertolino, was a detective with the Nassau County Police Department who retired in 1991. His pension checks were directly deposited into a joint account he held with his daughter, who lives in Georgia. When he passed away at age 69, on Jan. 24, 2014, his daughter sought to conceal his death from the state retirement system. Alayne Bertolino did not notify the retirement system of her father’s death and sent a change of address form in his name.

A total of 56 monthly deposits, totaling $246,272.32, were made into the jointly held bank account after Joseph Bertolino’s death. Alayne Bertolino used the money to assist in purchasing a $556,000 home and car.

She pleaded guilty and sentenced to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and ordered restitution of $242,558.56.

Bertolino, 48, pleaded guilty in Albany County Court before Judge William T. Little.

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, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.