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Post date: January 7 2016

A.G. Schneiderman And Comptroller DiNapoli Announce Sentencing Of Man Implicated In Theft Of $78,000 In State Pension Benefits

Defendant Was Accused Of Stealing Pension Benefits Issued To His Deceased Godfather Over A Period Of Six Years

ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced the sentencing of Terence Fitzpatrick, 53, of Monmouth County, New Jersey, following his guilty plea in November 2015 to the crime of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class D felony, in Albany County Court.  Fitzpatrick was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation. The defendant was also ordered to pay $78,908.61 in restitution.

Fitzpatrick was accused of stealing $78,000 in pension benefits from the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System issued to his deceased godfather, Thomas Sullivan.  Sullivan was a New York State pensioner, who retired from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.  He died in 2003, with his wife collecting benefits until her death in 2006.  Fitzpatrick, who had been acting as power of attorney before Sullivan’s death, failed to notify the retirement system of Sullivan’s death, or Sullivan’s wife’s death.  Instead, Fitzpatrick utilized his power of attorney to access the account and withdraw pension benefits paid on Sullivan’s behalf during a six year period between November 1, 2006 and August 31, 2012.  All told, Fitzpatrick pocketed over $78,000 in pension benefits.

“Many New Yorkers count on the pension they earned for a secure retirement,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “I am proud to work with State Comptroller DiNapoli to protect our state pension system by prosecuting those who misuse these funds.”

"Mr. Fitzpatrick concealed the death of his godfather to steal $78,000 from the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. "I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for our continued Operation Integrity partnership to expose corruption and recover pension funds.”

This case is the latest investigation conducted as part of Operation Integrity, a joint partnership between the New York State Attorney General and New York State Comptroller to root out waste and abuse in state government. To date, the initiative has resulted in dozens of convictions and more than $9 million in restitution to the state.

The case was handled 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 and the New York State and Local Retirement System.

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