In 2010, the city of New York conducted an audit on its department that handles retirement checks. During that audit, it appeared as though a former New York Police Department officer named James Stenhouse died in 2003, but the department had still been sending checks. And someone had been cashing them — altogether more than $133,000 worth.
They traced the money to his son, also named James Stenhouse, a 48-year-old auto shop manager who lives in Wesley Chapel.
The agency sent "numerous correspondence to the family requesting confirmation of the death of James Stenhouse, but the family would not provide that information," a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report states.
When investigators spoke to the younger Stenhouse in person, he "did admit his father has passed away in 2003, but believed the checks were survivor benefits owed to him," the report states.
Stenhouse was arrested Wednesday and charged with organized fraud. He was released from the Pasco jail Thursday on $50,000 bail. Stenhouse declined to speak to the Times when reached by phone on Thursday.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.