Modified: September 11, 2015 11:13am
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 40 year-old Rhonda Heinen of the Village of Springville pleaded guilty as charged to Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree before Senior Erie County Court Judge Michael D’Amico. This is the highest charge of which Heinen could have been convicted had she gone to trial. In other words, Heinen did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Heinen owns The Cleaning Pixies Inc., a Hamburg, New York cleaning business. Heinen admitted that between May 1, 2009 and October 31, 2012, she deliberately concealed from the Erie County Department of Social Services her ownership of The Cleaning Pixies and the income generated by it. As a result, Heinen received both Medicaid and food stamps in the amount of $17,703.81. Her fraud was discovered after an anonymous tip was made to the Department of Social Services.
Heinen faces a maximum prison term of 7 years when she is sentenced by Judge D’Amico on October 1, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Stephen DiLorenzo, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Financial Crimes Bureau.