Florida man jailed for collecting dead brother's pension benefits

A Florida man has been sent to the slammer for pretending to be his dead brother, a former auditor for New York State, so he could collect $180,000 of his pension benefits over seven years, authorities said Friday.

Officials said Martin Petschauer, of Queens, died on July 9, 2008.

But the state kept sending his retirement checks to Florida, where his brother Robert, 71, controlled his accounts.

When officials finally learned in October 2015 the former auditor had passed away, the checks were stopped.

In an attempt to keep the money flowing, officials said Robert Schusteritsch phoned the state pension call center claiming to be the brother.

“I’m alive and I want my pension,” he declared, leaving his number.

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