Boca Man Sentenced in Theft of $274k in New York State Benefits
By CRA News Service
A Boca Raton man whom authorities said stole $274,920.16 in New York State pension benefits meant for his deceased mother, must do jail time, a New York judge has ruled.
An Albany County Court judge Peter A. Lynch on Thursday sentenced Marc Eletz, 70, to five months in jail and ordered him to pay $200,000 in restitution along with a signed confession of judgement for $74,920.16 – the remainder of the stolen benefits.
Eletz’s father, Milton Eletz, was a retired New York State employee who died in 1988. Milton Eletz received reduced monthly benefits so his wife, Fay Eletz, would continue to get the benefits after his death, a press release from the Attorney General’s and Comptroller’s offices said. From 1992 until July 2014, the benefits were deposited into a joint account held by Eletz and Fay Eletz, who died in April 2001, according to the release.
However, Marc Eletz continued to receive benefits he was not entitled to until July of last year. Eletz failed to report his mother’s death in 2001, prosecutors said.
“Mr. Eletz thought he could steal his mother’s pension, but we exposed his theft and recovered nearly $275,000 for the retirement system, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “I thank Attorney General [Eric T.] Schneiderman for partnering with us to prosecute these crimes.”
Eletz received $276,721.24 from the joint account after his mother died and he liquidated all but $1,801.08 of the pension benefits from the State and Local Employees Retirement Systems, the release said.
The case was part of the Operation Integrity partnership between the Attorney General and Comptroller, conducted with the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations.
This case is the latest joint investigation under the Operation Integrity partnership of the Attorney General and Comptroller which has resulted in
Dozens have been convicted and more than $6 million pain in restitution as part of the case, authorities said.