A Forest Hills man has been arraigned on charges stemming from his alleged theft of his late mother’s Holocaust survivor benefits from the German government.
According to a release from District Attorney Richard Brown, Gary Jacoby, 61, pocketed $56,932 from the German Pension Insurance Company from January 2008, when his mother, Laura, died, until February 2012.
Jacoby is facing one count of second-degree grand larceny and five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, his 93-year-old mother’s death at Forest Hills Hospital on Jan. 9, 2008 should have signaled the end of her monthly benefit payments of between $1,031 and $1,295 from the German government.
However, from 2008 to 2012, Jacoby forged his mother’s signature on the required yearly life certificate form every benefit recipient must sign and file with German Pension Insurance Company.
The complaint also says that Frederico Goldwurm, a notary with the City of New York, was aware that Jacoby’s mother had died in 2008 and knowingly notarized the life certificates each year anyway.
Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for Brown, said no charges have been filed against Goldwurm.
However, an investigation into his involvement in the scheme is ongoing, Ryan said.
Jacoby even went to the German embassy in Manhattan in March 2012 to claim his mother was still alive.
“The defendant is accused of unjustly enriching himself and as such,” Brown said, “must now face the consequences of his alleged actions.”
It was the German Pension Insurance Company that notified Brown’s office of the wrongdoing.