Former UMass-Lowell student accused of stealing over $70,000 from deceased professor’s pension

A former student at UMass-Lowell is facing charges after allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his deceased former professor’s pension.

Jeffrey Nazarian, 55, of Haverhill, was arraigned on two counts of forgery and one count each of larceny over $1200 by a single scheme, perjury and uttering in Salem Superior Court Thursday, according to the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General.

Nazarian allegedly received $70,000 from his former professor and friend John Hamer after the latter’s death in January 2019. Between January 31, 2019 and June 31, 2020 Nazarian allegedly accessed Hamer’s personal bank account and used his pension benefits to pay credit card balances.

“The indictment also alleges that Nazarian forged Hamer’s signature on nine checks drawn on that bank account. The indictment further alleges that Nazarian forged Hamer’s signature on a State Retirement Board form attesting that the deceased professor was still alive and eligible to continue receiving pension payments,” the Office of the Inspector General says.

Nazarian was indicted on December 28, 2023 by an Essex County Grand Jury after a joint investigation by the Office of the Inspector General and the Attorney General’s Office.

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