A man has admitted to stealing $135,000 from the retirement account of a woman whose obituary described him as a “dear friend.” Sixty-year-old Dennis Lordi pleaded guilty Tuesday in Superior Court in Morristown to theft by deception. Prosecutors said Lordi posed as Donna DiLullo to transfer $135,517 from her Prudential deferred compensation/retirement account into his own account just minutes after receiving word that she had died suddenly at age 55.
Authorities said the money was frozen after the theft was realized and is now being returned to DiLullo’s estate. Lordi had been accused by authorities of attempting to steal about $566,000 total in retirement and life insurance benefits from DiLullo, but he admitted only to the retirement fund theft. Prosecutors had alleged that Lordi also accessed DiLullo’s online benefit account and made himself her primary beneficiary of her insurance and pension benefits.
DiLullo, who worked as a probation officer in Somerset County for nearly 30 years, died in her home. Her obituary listed surviving family members and several “dear friends,” including Lordi.
One of the seven deadly sins of the Catholic Church is greed. Jesus said, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed” (Luke 12:15). Paul called “the love of money . . . the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”
There is a children’s story called The Greedy Mouse. A greedy mouse saw a basket full of corn. He wanted to eat it. So he made a small hole in the basket. He squeezed in through the hole. He ate a lot of corn. He felt full. He was very happy. Now he wanted to come out, so he tried to exit the small hole. He could not. His belly was full. He tried again. But it was of no use.
The mouse started crying. A rabbit was passing by. It heard the mouse’s cry and asked, “Why are you crying, my friend?” The mouse explained, “I made a small hole and came into the basket. Now I am not able to get out through that hole.” The rabbit said, “It is because you ate too much. Wait til your belly shrinks.” The rabbit laughed and went away.
The mouse fell asleep in the basket. The next morning his belly had shrunk. But the mouse wanted to eat some corn. So he ate and ate. His belly was full once again. He thought, “Oh! Now I will go out tomorrow.” The cat was the next passerby. he smelled the mouse in the basket. He lifted its lid and ate the mouse.
Nothing will eat you up like greed. Just ask the mouse. Or ask Dennis Lordi. He thought the $135,000 would buy him freedom. But now he lives in the jail of his own making.