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Rochester Woman Accused of Stealing $121K in Dead Grandmother’s Pension


A Rochester woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $121,000 in state pension checks that were sent to her deceased grandmother.

After Elona Roberts grandmother retired from her job as a maintenance supervisor for Monroe County in December 1998, she received a monthly pension check. When she passed away in 2017, the state pension system was not informed of her death and checks continued to be sent. When the Comptroller’s office learned of her grandmother’s death, it launched an investigation. The investigation revealed that Roberts had deposited 66 checks into her own bank account and had apparently forged her deceased grandmother’s signature as well as signing her own name. She spent the money on personal expenses like household bills, jewelry, and hotels, in addition to making cash withdrawals.

Roberts was arrested this morning on charges of Grand Larceny in the second degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree. She was arraigned in Irondequoit Town Court before Judge Jennifer Whitman-Devoe.

Roberts is scheduled to return to court on June 18.

“Thursday’s arrest of Elona Roberts should serve as a warning that attempts to defraud our pension fund will be found and prosecuted,” New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “My thanks to District Attorney Doorley and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership in ensuring our state pension fund and its members are protected from shameless acts like the charges announced today.”

“Stealing from the New York State pension fund is not a victimless crime, as every single resident and taxpayer in the state suffers from this theft,” said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley. “At the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, we take this type of fraud seriously and we look forward to prosecuting these allegations in a court of law. I want to thank the New York State Comptroller’s Office for leading this investigation and identifying this egregious abuse of our system.”

“The New York State Pension fund serves as a promise kept to all the civil servants who commit their lives to safeguarding and uplifting their community,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “I am grateful to the NYS Comptroller’s Office for their vigilance in uncovering this criminal activity and to the dedicated investigators from the MCSO Economic Crimes Unit for successfully apprehending the individual involved.”

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