A Georgia woman, Alayne Bertolino, has pleaded guilty to pocketing over $240,000 in New York state pension payments meant for her deceased father. State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, in collaboration with Albany County District Attorney David Soares and the New York State Police, announced the guilty plea.
The case spotlighted the diligence of the involved departments in protecting state funds. “You will be caught,” warned DiNapoli, acknowledging the combined efforts to protect the pension fund and ensure justice. Assistant District Attorney Erin Bates, handling the prosecution, emphasized that exploiting the system during trying times, such as the death of a loved one, will not go unnoticed. “Justice holds everyone accountable, regardless of their position,” Bates stated.
Alayne Bertolino capitalized on the pension of her father, Joseph Bertolino, a retired detective from the Nassau County Police Department. The pension was directly deposited into a joint account shared with his daughter. Following his death in 2014, Alayne took measures to hide his passing from the state’s retirement system. In total, she received 56 deposits, amassing to $246,272.32, which she later used to invest in a home and a car.
The 48-year-old was found guilty of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree in Albany County Court. Judge William T. Little ordered Bertolino to pay a restitution of $242,558.56.
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