DiNapoli and Orange County DA Hoovler detail guilty plea in retirement fraud case

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli and Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Thursday, April 14, 2022, Valerie White, 58, of Middletown, had pleaded guilty in Orange County court to third degree robbery. Under the plea agreement announced on record at the time of the guilty plea, White was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $51,532.64, the total of the funds White unlawfully stole from the system of state retirement.

White’s mother was a retiree, invested in the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). When White’s mother retired in 2000, she elected to receive her full pension benefits until her death. When White’s mother died in 2017, the death was not reported to NYSLRS and retirement benefits continued to be paid into an account White held jointly with her mother. As a result, from 2017 until NYSLRS learned of the retiree’s death in 2019, over $54,000 was improperly deposited into the account. While NYSLRS was able to recover approximately $2,500 of the stolen amount, the rest was spent by White on personal expenses. At the time of her plea, White admitted to stealing the money and that she knew she had no permission or authority to take the funds.

“Ms. White thought she could get away with defrauding New York State and the local retirement system out of over $50,000, but she was wrong,” the New State Comptroller said. York, Thomas P. DiNapoli “Today’s guilty plea should be a warning sign to anyone attempting to steal state retirement benefits that my office will find you and work with law enforcement.” Order to Hold You Accountable I thank Orange County District Attorney Hoovler for his ongoing partnership and unwavering commitment to holding accountable those who attempt to defraud the public.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Comptroller’s Office and the New York State Police for their joint investigation of White that led to his arrest.

“The state’s retirement system is the backbone of hard-working public servants across the state,” District Attorney Hoovler said. “That this defendant seeks to manipulate the system for her own benefit is reprehensible. I am grateful for the dedicated investigation conducted by the Office of the Comptroller in conjunction with the New York State Police which ensured that this defendant would be held accountable for her actions.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tanja Beemer.

A criminal charge is simply an allegation by the police that an accused has committed a violation of criminal law, and it is not proof of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be up to the State of New York to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has been committed to fighting public corruption and encouraging the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayers’ money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, filing a complaint online at [email protected]or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.

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