State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, seen in New Hyde Park...

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, seen in New Hyde Park in 2019, said in a news release Tuesday that a son pretended to be his deceased father — whose body has not been found — to steal more than $200,000 in retirement benefits. Credit: Jeff Bachner

A son pretended to be his deceased father, a retired Nassau County Clerk employee whose body has not been found, to steal more than $200,000 in retirement benefits, investigators said Tuesday.

Timothy Gritman, 55, of Pennsylvania, was arrested and has pleaded guilty to wire and Social Security fraud. He will be sentenced on May 31, state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said in a release.

Gritman’s father, Ralph Gritman, who retired in 1992, pulled up stakes for Wyoming with his son in August 2017. One month later, the father’s Medicare benefits were used for the last time at an emergency room in his new state, the release said.

In 2019, Timothy Gritman told a family member that his father had died several years earlier, but would not say where he was buried or what had happened to his body, the release said.

“Timothy Gritman hid his father’s death to collect his pension and Social Security payments for more than four years, going so far as posing as his deceased father to keep his fraud going,” DiNapoli said.

The son collected $117,194 in state and local pension benefits and $87,790 from Social Security from October 2017 through October 2022, the statement said.

“Timothy Gritman lied about his father’s whereabouts and pretended to be his father on multiple occasions,” the release said.

When DiNapoli’s office sought to determine whether Ralph Gritman was alive and asked to speak with him, it said Timothy Gritman would either say he was asleep or would try to imitate his voice.

He also supplied “a picture of himself, in which he tried to disguise himself as his father, holding a bogus Pennsylvania State identification card,” the release said.

The investigation sprang from a call to the comptroller’s Fraud Hotline. The tipster’s identity was not released.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI aided in the investigation.

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