July 2, 2014
By Stephanie West
Suffolk County Police Detective Sergeant Terrance Hoffman pleaded guilty to taking $465,647 in illegal pension payments from the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System.
“This is an egregious exploitation of public funds,” DiNapoli said. “By partnering with District Attorney Rice’s office, we were able to protect the integrity of the state pension fund, recoup the stolen money, and send a clear warning to those who try to defraud the system.”
Investigators found that Hoffman pocketed $465,647 in unlawful pension payments while earning a final full-time salary of $112,000 with Nassau Community College. Hoffman was repeatedly notified of the earnings limitations and the requirement to report his public income, but chose not to.
Hoffman, 65, of Shirley, pleaded guilty in Nassau County District Court Part 9P on Tuesday July 1st to permitting falsification of records of the retirement system, a D felony, in an attempt to obtain unlawful pension payments from 1996 to 2012. As part of his guilty plea, he must repay the almost half-a-million dollars that he acquired illegally.
The investigation was made possible by a 2012 law, proposed by DiNapoli, which gave the State Comptroller access to the state Department of Taxation and Finance's wage reporting system to identify state retirement system retirees, working for local governments, whose earnings exceed post-retirement earnings limitations.
“Our public retirement programs are a critical part of our safety net for retirees and their families – not a piggy bank for those looking to game the system while drawing a higher salary than the law allows,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.