Elderly Social Security & SNAP Benefits Scammer Sentenced

Modified: December 6, 2019 12:46pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 87-year-old Ann Cliett, also known as Annie Miles, of Amherst has been sentenced by Erie County Court Judge James Bargnesi to a three year conditional discharge.

The defendant admitted that she started collecting Social Security benefits under two different identities starting in January 1993. She began receiving Social Security benefits under the name Annie Miles after the death of her husband in 1975. The same year, the defendant applied for a second Social Security card under the name Ann Cliett. In December 1992, the defendant applied for widow’s benefits under the Ann Cliett identity following the death of her second husband.

When the defendant attempted to renew her New York State identification card as Annie Miles, the DMV used facial recognition to determine that the defendant also had a New York State driver’s license under the name Ann Cliett.

When the Social Security Administration confirmed that two benefits were being paid to the same individual, it was determined that the defendant fraudulently received $235,565.90 over the course of 26 years.

The investigation further revealed that the defendant failed to disclose all income received from the Social Security Administration to the Erie County Department of Social Services. It was determined that the defendant fraudulently received $22,892 in SNAP benefits.

Cliett pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony. The defendant pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charge on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. As part of her plea, the defendant signed confessions of judgement to repay both government entities.

DA Flynn commends the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, United States Social Security Administration, and the New York State Inspector General’s Office for their assistance in the investigation.

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