An Ontario County woman has pleaded guilty to grand larceny for stealing more than $2,000 in pension payments from the New York State and Local Retirement System.
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts this week said that Becky Smith Shaver withdrew her friend’s NYSLRS pension payment of $2,076 and his Veterans Affairs benefit of $3,216 from a bank account the two shared.
“Ms. Smith Shaver tried to take advantage of the New York state pension system by stealing from a friend after his death. Now, she is being held accountable for her actions. I am committed to safeguarding the New York State and Local Retirement System, its members and taxpayers,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “Thanks to our partnership with Ontario County District Attorney James Ritts and Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson, we were able to stop this fraud.”
Gary Banas had worked for more than three decades for the city of Tonawanda Public Works Department. Following his death in December 2019, Smith Shaver withdrew his pension and Veterans Affairs benefits and closed the joint account. DiNapoli said she was not entitled to Banas’ pension or benefits.
Smith Shaver pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the third degree and has been placed on one year of interim probation. She has been ordered to pay $2,076.17 to the NYSLRS, $3,216.35 to Veterans Affairs and restitution to Banas’ estate.
Smith Shaver is due back in court for sentencing on June 2, 2022.
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