New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Livingston County District Attorney Gregory J. McCaffrey, and the New York State Police today announced the arrest of Patricia Chatley, 59, of Nunda, New York for allegedly stealing over $34,500 of her mother’s public pension payments after she died in January of 2020.
“Ms. Chatley allegedly concealed her mother’s death to steal tens of thousands of dollars she was not entitled to,” DiNapoli said. “Thanks to my investigative team, the State Police, and District Attorney McCaffrey, she is being held accountable for her actions. My office will continue to work with law enforcement agencies across the state and country to protect the New York State pension system from fraud.”
“We are thankful for the diligent and thorough investigative work of the State Comptroller in bringing this fraudulent conduct to our attention. Fraudulent conduct against those who are most vulnerable in our community or in this case, fraudulent conduct against the New York State Pension system have not and will not be tolerated. We look forward to our continued work with both the New York State Comptroller and the New York State Police.” Stated District Attorney Gregory J. McCaffrey.
New York State Police Acting Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento said, “I commend our State Police members and partners from the State Comptroller’s Office and the Livingston County District Attorney’s Office for their steadfast work on this investigation. Ms. Chatley corruptly took advantage of her deceased mother’s hard-earned pension to support her own acquisitive needs. The State Police will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who carry out such deliberate acts.”
The arrest came as a result of a joint investigation by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, the Livingston County District Attorney, and the New York State Police. Chatley’s mother, Janet Chatley, worked for the Livingston County Department of Social Services and retired in 1994. Upon her retirement she received monthly benefits of approximately $1,000 which should have ceased upon her death. Janet Chatley died on January 5, 2020.
DiNapoli’s Division of Investigations became aware of Janet Chatley’s death after receiving an anonymous complaint. According to the investigation, between January of 2020 and June 30, 2022, Chatley allegedly collected a total of 30 unauthorized payments that were meant for her deceased mother totaling $34,548.
Chatley, who works for the Dalton-Nunda Central School District and is a New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) member, failed to notify the bank or NYSLRS of her mother’s death and continued to collect and transfer the pension fund payments to her personal account. Forensic auditors traced the stolen money from the bank accounts, which Chatley held jointly with her mother, to her personal account, from which she withdrew it and spent it.
Chatley was arrested on Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree charges. She was issued a desk appearance ticket and must return to court on February 12, 2024.
The charges filed in this case are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Since taking office in 2007, DiNapoli has committed to fighting public corruption and encourages the public to help fight fraud and abuse. New Yorkers can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-888-672-4555, by filing a complaint online at https://www.osc.ny.gov/investigations, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.