By David Brann
Special to DNAinfo
MANHATTAN — The widow of a former public school teacher cooked up an elaborate scam to collect more than $153,000 in pension payments for more than a decade after her husband's death, the city's Department of Investigation said Monday.
Janie Tice Rosenberg allegedly used aliases Janie Rosenberg Stanley and Jamie Stanley to collect Teacher Retirement System (TRS) checks from her late husband, Hyman Rosenberg, through bank accounts in Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2011.
According to the investigation, which began in December 2010, she also sent several notarized letters to the pension system attesting to the fact that her late husband was alive despite his demise more two decades beforehand.
The case was referred to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office, which filed criminal charges against the Pennsylvania woman.
Tice Rosenberg, a former student at the Turtle Bay school where the dead man taught, was just 18 when she married her 57-year-old hubby in 1981.
Officials said the teacher at the High School of Art and Design was awarded disability retirement payments because of blindness after he stopped working the next year.
The day after Rosenberg died in 1990, the TRS received a request that the teacher’s address be changed to a post office box in Augusta, Ga., the DOI's special commissioner found.
A later letter sent to the pension system requested that Rosenberg’s March 31, 1991 pension payment be reissued because it was never received.
A 1995 letter, also sent by "Rosenberg" and notarized by a Robert Stanley, requested that his address be changed to another post office box in Walkersville, Md., according to the report.
The United States Postal Service indicated that Janie Stanley had rented this post office box, using an address in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
TRS provided investigators with additional forms purportedly signed by Rosenberg, six of which were also notarized by Robert Stanley.
It was not clear if Stanley was a real individual.
In one form received in May 2010, "Rosenberg" attested, "I am alive and remain eligible to receive retirement benefits … I understand that any false claim or statement made on this form constitutes criminal conduct."
DOI officials recommended the TRS attempt to recover the funds.