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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: Rochester Woman Arrested for Stealing $121K in Pension Checks Sent to Her Late Grandmother

June 6, 2024

A Rochester woman, Elona Roberts, was arrested today for the alleged theft of more than $121,000 in state pension checks that were sent to her deceased grandmother, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office announced.

“Today’s arrest should serve as a warning that attempts to defraud our pension fund will be found and prosecuted,” DiNapoli said. “My thanks to District Attorney Doorley and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for their partnership in ensuring our state pension fund and its members are protected from shameless acts like the charges announced today.”

“Stealing from the New York State pension fund is not a victimless crime, as every single resident and taxpayer in the state suffers from this theft,” said District Attorney Doorley. “At the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, we take this type of fraud seriously and we look forward to prosecuting these allegations in a court of law. I want to thank the New York State Comptroller’s Office for leading this investigation and identifying this egregious abuse of our system.”

“The New York State Pension fund serves as a promise kept to all the civil servants who commit their lives to safeguarding and uplifting their community,” said Monroe County Sheriff Todd K. Baxter. “I am grateful to the NYS Comptroller’s Office for their vigilance in uncovering this criminal activity and to the dedicated investigators from the MCSO Economic Crimes Unit for successfully apprehending the individual involved.”

After Elona Robert’s grandmother retired from her job as a maintenance supervisor for Monroe County in December 1998, she received a monthly pension check. When she passed away in 2017, the state pension system was not informed of her death and checks continued to be sent. When the Comptroller’s office learned of her grandmother’s death, it launched an investigation. The investigation revealed that Roberts had deposited 66 checks into her own bank account and had apparently forged her deceased grandmother’s signature as well as signing her own name. She spent the money on personal expenses like household bills, jewelry, and hotels, in addition to making cash withdrawals.

Roberts was arrested this morning on charges of Grand Larceny in the second degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first degree. She was arraigned in Irondequoit Town Court before Judge Jennifer Whitman-Devoe. She is scheduled to return to court on June 18.

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, or by mailing a complaint to: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Investigations, 8th Floor, 110 State St., Albany, NY 12236.