Woman admits to stealing dead mother’s benefits for 33 years

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A West Seneca woman has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $291,000 in her dead mother’s benefits from the Buffalo Firemen’s Pension Fund.

Pearlann MacVittie, 73, admitted to third-degree grand larceny after collecting money intended for her mother, who died in 1983.

“From the day her mother died, Pearlann MacVittie tarnished her memory by stealing $291,070 in pension checks in her mother’s name from the city of Buffalo’s Firemen’s Pension Fund,” said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. “I thank my auditors and investigators for uncovering this brazen scam against the city and its taxpayers.”

MacVittie’s mother was the widow of William Martin, a Buffalo fireman. After she died, MacVittie never told the Buffalo Firemen’s Pension Fund that she was gone, and instead, illegally collected benefits that were meant for her mother.

The amount MacVittie was collecting every month started off at around $325 per month. As time went on, the monthly amount increased, eventually reaching $935 per month in 2016.

The fraud, which lasted for 33 years, was revealed by an audit and a New York State Comptroller’s office investigation. MacVittie knew what she was doing was illegal. Every year, she falsely signed her mother’s name on forms and made it look shaky, as if a very elderly person had signed it.

MacVittie will be sentenced to five years of probation on June 22.

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s