A reverend in the Bronx was arrested earlier this month in Florida after it came to light that he cashed nearly a quarter million in pension checks that were sent to a dead city school teacher. Though Maria Sicardo died on April 23, 2000, the Reverend Victor Rosa, who lived in the same building as her, kept cashing the monthly $2,084-$2,351 checks that were issued to her until 2010. In total investigators say that Rosa bilked the teacher's pension fund of more than $241,000.
Sicardo, who retired from the school system in 1993, moved into a Vyse Avenue building owned by Rosa in 1999. She died a year later, at which point the checks that were cashed for her appear to have been filled out by the reverend (who also goes by the last name Gomez) .
And Rosa didn't just cash those checks, he also kept up with the city's Teachers' Retirement System, repeatedly telling them that Sicardo was alive and well. It wasn't until a city official reached out to him last year that he suddenly changed his tune and admitted that Sicardo had died...in Puerto Rico. In 2010.
Rosa was arrested in Orlando last week and has since been released on bond. A spokesman from the DOE says that it is doing all it can to get the money back.
Meanwhile, why do people keep pulling this stunt? Besides the fact that it seems to keep working (until it doesn't).