Borough man charged with cashing dead grandmother’s Medicare

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NAUGATUCK — A borough man is facing charges of forgery, larceny and identity theft after police said he endorsed and cashed his dead grandmother’s Medicare checks and wrote checks to himself from her savings account.

Amancio Rivera, 29, of 151 Andrew Ave., was receiving Medicare reimbursement checks for his grandmother, Rosaria Merante, who died in December 2009, said Lt. Robert Harrison of the Naugatuck Police Department. Merante was a former employee of the Brewster Central School District in New York, where the superintendent noticed Merante was still being sent the checks, Harrison said. Rivera endorsed the checks and deposited them into his bank account for an amount totaling more than $1,400, Harrison said.

An investigator from the sheriff’s office in Putnam County, N.Y., contacted borough police, and a subsequent investigation into Rivera’s bank account revealed he was also writing himself checks totaling $3,400 from his grandmother’s savings account, Harrison said. Police arrested Rivera on Monday and released him on a $5,000 bond to appear Nov. 30 in Waterbury Superior Court.

Special to the Citizen’s News