August 7, 2013
Re: Governor Creates Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit by Executive Order
Earlier today Governor Christie signed Executive Order 138, which took effect immediately, creating the Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit to safeguard the integrity of the public employee retirement systems and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are properly expended for these benefits. The Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit, which will be in the Department of Treasury, will be headed by Jim Scott, a former investigator for the Internal Revenue Service.
The Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit is mandated to investigate public pension claims and payments, including, but not limited to, disability pension claims, and claims of improper participation in the retirement systems, as well as potential fraud and abuse of other benefits systems as the State Treasurer may direct in the future. The Unit will work closely and coordinate with the Division of Pensions and Benefits, the Office of the Attorney General and the State Comptroller on claims of potential fraud and abuse by identifying cases of suspected pension fraud, abuse and ineligibility.
The Unit will undertake investigations, share information and resources, develop strategies for curtailing fraud and abuse, and identify cases for civil and criminal prosecution. The Unit may recommend all civil or criminal remedies available by law to address such pension fraud, abuse and improper participation. Working with the Division of Pensions and Benefits and the Attorney General, the Unit may petition the appropriate board for denial of an application or revocation of a pension or benefit improperly granted.
The public is encouraged to report fraudulent pension and benefit claims and payments. The Unit will establish a website, mailing address, e-mail address and toll free number for the public to report such abuse.
Finally, the Executive Order directs all political subdivisions, including municipalities, along with departments, divisions, offices, and agencies of the State to cooperate with the Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit and furnish the Unit with requested information.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.