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New York City Man Faces Sentence for Concealing Father's Death, Deceased Payee Fraud

June 19, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the New York State Comptroller’s Office:

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the pending sentencing of a Queens man for concealing his father’s death so he could continue to unlawfully collect pension payments of $7,542 and Social Security payments of $17,790, which were electronically deposited into a checking account in the name of his father.

Christopher Bunn, 49, is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday and is expected to pay full restitution before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron based upon his guilty plea in October to grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony, and petit larceny. Bunn has already served six months in federal prison related to his arrest.

“Mr. Bunn left his deceased father’s body unclaimed at the Nassau County morgue for more than a year so he could steal his pension and Social Security payments,” State Comptroller DiNapoli said, “We will continue to work with state and federal authorities to root out fraud and protect the retirement system. I thank District Attorney Brown and the Social Security Inspector General for their partnership and continued commitment to protecting public funds.”

“My office is committed to investigating this type of fraud against the Social Security system,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Edward J. Ryan, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration. “It is illegal to conceal or fail to report deaths to continue receiving someone else’s Social Security benefits. I am gratified by the State Comptroller’s pursuit of justice in this case.”

“The defendant has admitted to receiving his deceased father’s Social Security and pension payments for well over a year, following his death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Thus robbing the New York pension system and the federal government of tens of thousands of dollars in unlawfully obtained benefits. My office will continue to pursue and prosecute individuals who abuse the system for their own benefit.”

James Bunn was a designated beneficiary collecting retirement benefits that were not transferable upon his death. The funds were deposited electronically into James Bunn’s checking account from February 2010 through April 2011. In May 2011, the Social Security Inspector General notified the New York State and Local Retirement System that the body of James Bunn – who died on February 24, 2010 – remained unclaimed by his son at the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s morgue. Further investigation revealed that Christopher Bunn had withdrawn the money from his father’s account.

 

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the pending sentencing of a Queens man for concealing his father’s death so he could continue to unlawfully collect pension payments of $7,542 and Social Security payments of $17,790, which were electronically deposited into a checking account in the name of his father.

Christopher Bunn, 49, is scheduled for sentencing Tuesday and is expected to pay full restitution before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron based upon his guilty plea in October to grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony, and petit larceny. Bunn has already served six months in federal prison related to his arrest.

“Mr. Bunn left his deceased father’s body unclaimed at the Nassau County morgue for more than a year so he could steal his pension and Social Security payments,” State Comptroller DiNapoli said, “We will continue to work with state and federal authorities to root out fraud and protect the retirement system. I thank District Attorney Brown and the Social Security Inspector General for their partnership and continued commitment to protecting public funds.”

“My office is committed to investigating this type of fraud against the Social Security system,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Edward J. Ryan, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration. “It is illegal to conceal or fail to report deaths to continue receiving someone else’s Social Security benefits. I am gratified by the State Comptroller’s pursuit of justice in this case.”

“The defendant has admitted to receiving his deceased father’s Social Security and pension payments for well over a year, following his death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Thus robbing the New York pension system and the federal government of tens of thousands of dollars in unlawfully obtained benefits. My office will continue to pursue and prosecute individuals who abuse the system for their own benefit.”

James Bunn was a designated beneficiary collecting retirement benefits that were not transferable upon his death. The funds were deposited electronically into James Bunn’s checking account from February 2010 through April 2011. In May 2011, the Social Security Inspector General notified the New York State and Local Retirement System that the body of James Bunn – who died on February 24, 2010 – remained unclaimed by his son at the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s morgue. Further investigation revealed that Christopher Bunn had withdrawn the money from his father’s account.

 

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