Buffalo Woman Admits to Scamming Social Services

Modified: December 5, 2019 9:09am

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 41-year-old Melissa Gibbs of Buffalo pleaded guilty to one count of Welfare Fraud in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony. She pleaded guilty on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

The defendant admitted that she fraudulently received SNAP, Medicaid and day care benefits through the Erie County Department of Social Services, resulting in a fraud of $135,059.84. Gibbs concealed that she was married and living with her husband from April 16, 2012 through March 31, 2017. Due to their combined incomes, the defendant did not qualify for the benefits that she received over the course of nearly five years.

As part of her plea, the defendant entered into a repayment program with the Erie County Department of Social Services.

Gibbs faces a maximum of 15 years in prison when she is sentenced on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 2 p.m. She was released on her own recognizance.

DA Flynn commends the Erie County Department of Social Services for their assistance in this investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robin J. Deubler of the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit.