Greenfield man admits stealing estranged wife's 401(k) funds
BALLSTON SPA A Greenfield man who took money from a retirement account in violation of a court order pleaded guilty Thursday in Saratoga County Court.
Special prosecutor David Harper said Andrew A. Palmateer, 43, pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny and third-degree assault.
County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano is expected to sentence Palmateer to six months in jail and five years’ probation April 24.
The case began when the victim, Tracy Palmateer, called the police Dec. 26, 2012 to report her estranged husband had assaulted her. After an initial investigation by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, Palmateer was charged with assault.
Following the arrest, the case was assigned to Harper, a former assistant district attorney, due to a conflict of interest within the district attorney’s office. Harper said a part-time assistant district attorney had previously represented the Palmateers in private practice.
During the investigation, it came to light that Palmateer, during divorce proceedings in 2012, had been ordered by the court to turn over half of the couple’s 401(k) account and the deed to the couple’s house to his wife. After the court’s order, Palmateer had withdrawn the couple’s entire 401(k) account and withdrew an additional $1,100 from a home equity loan account. Those actions, which involved a total of nearly of $14,000 belonging to his spouse, led to the grand larceny charges, Harper said.
Harper said the Sheriff’s Department and attorney Gayle Hartz of The Legal Project assisted in the investigation.