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PA Man Sentenced for Stealing $194K in Dead Dad’s NY Pension


A Pennsylvania man who stole $194,000 of retirement benefits paid to his deceased father was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Jacqueline C. Romero, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration Gail S. Ennis, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced.

From October 2017 through October 2022, Timothy Gritman, 57, stole $110,897 in pension benefits from the New York State and Local Retirement System and $83,188 in Social Security benefits. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and Social Security fraud charges in February.

“Timothy Gritman shamelessly hid his own father’s death, going so far as to attempt to disguise himself as him in order to collect his pension and Social Security payments for more than four years,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to the work of my investigative team and our partners in law enforcement, he has been held accountable. My office will continue to bring anyone who seeks to defraud the pension system to justice.”

“Timothy Gritman chose dollars and cents over a dignified death for his dad,” Romero said. “He had been living off of his father Ralph’s retirement benefits for years, even before his father’s passing — and after it, went to significant lengths to keep that money coming in. With today’s sentence, he’s finally being made to answer for his criminal greed.”

“Timothy Gritman schemed to obtain the Social Security retirement benefits intended for his deceased father. His behavior is unacceptable, and this sentence holds him accountable for his criminal actions,” Ennis said. “I thank our law enforcement partners and the New York State Comptroller’s Office for their efforts in investigating, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Curran for prosecuting this case.”

New York state pensioner Ralph Gritman retired from the Nassau County Clerk’s Office in 1992 and moved to Wyoming from Pennsylvania with his son, Timothy Gritman, in August 2017. In September 2017, Medicare records showed he went to a hospital emergency room in Wyoming. This was the last existing record of the father.

The father and son shared a joint bank account where Ralph’s retirement benefits were electronically deposited. Both Ralph Gritman’s pension and Social Security benefits were to cease upon his death, but Timothy Gritman concealed his father’s death in order to continue to receive his retirement benefits. In his attempts to impersonate his deceased father, he used makeup to whiten his hair and eyebrows.

In 2019, Timothy Gritman told a family member that his father had died several years earlier but would not say where he was buried or what had happened to his body. Ralph Gritman’s body still has not been located.

A call to DiNapoli’s Fraud Hotline led to a joint investigation and the suspension of Ralph Gritman’s pension payments and the investigation that led to his son’s arrest.

Gritman was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in Philadelphia.

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