Dead NYC Pensioners Still Cashing Checks

September 29, 2010 ( – An investigation by New York City officials has found that pension checks are still being issued and cashed for some dead city retirees.

NYC Comptroller John C. Liu joined by NYC Department of Investigation (DOI) Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn announced that the Comptroller’s Office has uncovered nearly a half-million dollars in suspected pension fraud. Upon examination, the Comptroller’s Office found 14 cases where either a person or persons continued to cash the dead pensioner’s checks, or pension checks continued to be deposited into the dead pensioners’ bank accounts.  

According to the announcement, in one case a person or persons cashed 38 pension checks totaling $139,818 after the pensioner died in 2007, using the dead pensioner’s driver’s license. When the license expired in 2010, it was renewed and the person or persons continued to cash the dead pensioner’s checks.  

Another case found 25 pension checks totaling $9,696 were cashed or deposited after the pensioner died in 2008. The remaining 12 cases involved pension payments to dead pensioners totaling $310,456.  

Along with the 14 cases, the Comptroller’s Office uncovered 171 additional cases totaling nearly two million dollars where pension payments were issued to deceased pensioners from 2007 to 2009. As part of the investigation, Liu matched pension payments against death records from 2007 to 2009. Total pension payments between 2007– 2009 totaled $29 billion.  

On September 28, 2010, the Comptroller’s Office and the DOI held a joint fraud-prevention conference for approximately 350 auditors and investigators from 42 City agencies that discussed data analysis methods and tools that auditors and investigators can use to detect fraud, and how city agencies can implement internal controls that will enable them to prevent fraud.