Jimmie Buie Of Brooklyn Allegedly Stole Over $22K In State Pension Benefits Issued To Deceased Mother
Schneiderman: Today’s Arrest Exemplifies Our Commitment To Rooting Out And Fully Prosecuting Pension Fraud
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today the unsealing of a one-count indictment charging Jimmie Buie, a resident of Brooklyn, with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony. Jimmie Buie is alleged to have stolen over $22,000 in pension benefits issued by the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System to his deceased mother, Sandra Buie, between May 2011 and December 2012.
“It is simply reprehensible to exploit the death of a loved one by stealing their pension benefits,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s arrest exemplifies our commitment to rooting out and prosecuting pension fraud to the fullest extent.”
Buie’s grandmother, Thelma Hairston, was a New York State pensioner who retired in 1995. At the time of her retirement, Thelma Hairston selected to receive her pension as a Pop Up Joint Allowance Half, which provided her with a reduced pension benefit, but allowed her to pass on pension payments to her daughter, Sandra Buie, at the time of her death. Thelma Hairston died in 1996, and Sandra Buie ultimately began to receive her share of monthly pension benefits.
"Jimmie Buie allegedly profited over $22,000 from his mother's death by stealing her retirement checks," said State Comptroller DiNapoli. "Our fight against pension fraud has led to more than 20 arrests and $2.7 million in ordered recoveries. My message is clear: If you try to get away with pension fraud, we will find you and hold you responsible. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for his continued partnership in rooting out public corruption."
Sandra Buie died on May 15, 2011. According to the investigation, Jimmie Buie is listed as the informant on her death certificate. However, prosecutors allege that Jimmie Buie, who lived in the apartment where the pension checks were mailed to, enlisted four associates to cash nineteen pension checks after Sandra Buie’s death. Jimmie Buie concealed Sandra Buie’s death from the Retirement System in order to continue receiving Sandra Buie’s pension payments. In total, prosecutors allege Jimmie Buie stole over $22,000 in pension benefits until the Retirement System discovered her mother’s death.
Jimmie Buie was arraigned on the indictment today before Honorable Judge Dineen Riviezzo in Kings County Supreme Court, and entered a plea of not guilty. Bail was set at $15,000 bond or $5,000 cash. If convicted, Jimmie Buie faces up to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison.
The charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Comptroller DiNapoli’s investigation was handled by the Comptroller’s Division of Investigations working with the New York State and Local Retirement System.