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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Press Releases

January 7, 2016, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015

Comptroller DiNapoli & A.G. Schneiderman Announce Sentencing of N.J. Man Implicated in Theft of $78,000 in New York State Pension Benefits

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

ALBANY –New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Terence Fitzpatrick, 53, of Monmouth County, N.J., 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.

Fitzpatrick was charged for the alleged theft of $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 was accused of pocketing over $78,000 in pension benefits.

“Mr. Fitzpatrick concealed the death of his godfather to steal $78,000 from the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System,” Comptroller DiNapoli said. “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 Comptroller and New York State Attorney General 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 investigation was conducted by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations and the New York State and Local Retirement System. 

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.

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. Review prior cases at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/investigations/index.htm.

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