A former Westchester police officer has been charged in an eight-year alleged swindle. Anthony Sciacca is charged with taking $163,000 he was not entitled to from the New York state retirement system. It is alleged that a forged state Education Department certificate allowed Sciacca to take in $70,000 a year on top of his pension, while he instructed Ulster County Boces students on the finer points of criminal justice, a job for which he was hired in 2005.
As a state retiree under the age of 65 at the time without the necessary waiver, Sciacca was only cleared for $30,000 in additional income if he expected to continue collecting his pension. He received the necessary waiver every year up until June 2011, but went on earning his Ulster County Boces public salary with an inactive waiver until 2019.
Sciacca’s pension was suspended when the retirement system caught on. The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) requested copies of waivers he had been granted. Sciacca allegedly answered this request with falsified documents which stated that waivers had been issued by the Education Department.
A subsequent review revealed that no such waivers had been obtained by the criminal justice instructor. It discovered that other documents showing that Sciacca had received a “Security Operations, Professional Certificate,” a requirement of his continued Boces employment, had been forged.
The state comptroller’s office opened its own investigation, the result of which Sciacca was charged with a scheme to defraud, grand larceny, defrauding the government, four counts of forgery, two counts of offering a false instrument for filing, two counts of falsifying a business record, and retirement fraud.
Sciacca was arraigned in Ulster County criminal court before judge Bryan Rounds on February 6. He is due back in court on February 22.
Ulster County assistant district attorney Felicia S. Raphael, chief of the financial and cyber crimes bureau, is prosecuting the case.
“He will now face the consequences of his actions,” said state comptroller Tom DiNapoli about Sciacca. “I thank district attorney Clegg, the State Education Department and the State Police for their partnership in holding accountable those who think they can swindle the pension system.”