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Former Town of Huntington employee charged for collecting late mother's pension

VCU Capital News Service

Moses K. Johnson, a 63-year-old former Town of Huntington employee, was charged with grand theft for allegedly continuing to collect his deceased mother's pension for more than a year.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on Thursday announced the arrest of Johnson for allegedly stealing his mother's public information to obtain pension payments following her death in April 2021.

Authorities said the former public employee allegedly failed to notify banks and the New York State and Local Retirement System of his mother's death. Instead, the defendant would continue to collect and spend pension payments from his deceased mother. Between April 30, 2021, and June 30, 2022, Johnson allegedly collected a total of 15 unauthorized payments totaling $56,411.37, the Suffolk County district attorney said. The stolen funds were traced from Johnson's mother's bank account to his bank account, and were allegedly subsequently spent.

“The New York State Retirement Fund is funded by the hard work of hundreds of thousands of public sector employees and provides retirement security to more than one million members,” said District Attorney Tierney. “My office will investigate and prosecute anyone alleged to have stolen this vital resource.”

Johnson worked for more than 30 years for the Town of Huntington at a recycling center until his retirement in 2017. As a member of the state retirement system, Johnson should have been aware of the pension process and known that his mother's payments should have stopped with her death.

“Mr. Johnson allegedly took advantage of the death of his mother to pocket tens of thousands of dollars to which he was not entitled,” said New York State Comptroller DiNapoli. “Thanks to my investigators and Suffolk County District Attorney Tierney, he is being held accountable for his crime."

Johnson was arrested yesterday by investigators with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office and arraigned before Suffolk County District Court Judge Anna Acqafredda on a charge of grand larceny in the second degree. The judge released him on his own recognizance during the processing of the case. The defendant is due back in court on Oct. 25, 2023.

A Spanish language media outlet serving Suffolk County, New York.