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Bergen prosecutor: Wyckoff man collected $72,900 in dead mom’s veterans benefits

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Wyckoff man accepted nearly $73,000 in veterans payments to his mother for four years after she died, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this morning, in announcing criminal charges against him.

Joseph Taradyna, 48, is to be arraigned Thursday in Central Municipal Court in Hackensack on charges of theft by deception. He remains free without bail until then.

Taradyna, who is single and unemployed, had direct access to his mother’s account, where the Veterans Administration deposited monthly wire transfers, Molinelli said.

His father, disabled World War II veteran K. Joseph Taradyna, died in 1987, records show.

Henrietta Taradyna was 89 when she died on April 3, 2009. According to a death notice, Joseph, her only son, was at her side.

He then “failed to notify the Department of Veterans Affairs of her death,” the prosecutor said.

After collecting the May 2009 payout, Taradyna “continued to receive the monthly payments and use the payments for his own personal use” totaling $72,900, he added.

Taradyna was charged with a summons following an investigation by members of Molinelli’s White Collar Crimes Squad and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

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