TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s office announced Wednesday a measure to investigate and combat pension fraud and abuse.
The Pension Fraud and Abuse Unit, which was created by way of executive order, will be housed under the state Treasury Department. The unit is tasked with seeking out pension and disability benefit fraud and ineligibility, according to the governor’s office.
“This is a serious and significant new step to protect the integrity of the system and guard every taxpayer dollar and employee contribution from fraud and abuse,” Christie said in a statement. “Siphoning of pension and disability benefits by fraud or ineligibility hurts everyone, including honest current and future pensioners and, above all, New Jersey taxpayers who support the system and expect it to be fair and free of fraud.”
The unit will be headed by Jim Scott, who’s slated to move from his position as a white-collar crime investigator at the Attorney General’s Office.
It will investigate public pension claims and payments – including disability claims and allegations of improper participation in the state’s retirement system – and have the ability to seek civil and criminal enforcement.
Christie’s office announced the unit’s creation as the governor is out of the Statehouse and vacationing with his family at the state-owned governor’s beach house at Island Beach State Park.