Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Welfare Fraud

Modified: November 13, 2017 4:53pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and NYS Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott announce that 50-year-old Suzanne Smith of Buffalo has pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case to Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree for collecting food stamps and Medicaid benefits while working as a caregiver for an elderly West Seneca woman. 

The defendant admitted to lying on her Department of Social Services application and re-certification applications, specifically stating that she had no income while she was being paid as a caregiver for the 105-year-old woman.  Ms. Smith is accused of lying on 10 separate re-certification applications to DSS, resulting in $51,462.68 in fraudulent benefits. 

“This defendant was double-dipping for years in a scheme to defraud the state of money that is designated for people who need assistance,” says DA Flynn. “Our office is committed to protecting taxpayer dollars and prosecuting these cases to the fullest extent of the law.” 

Smith faces a maximum of 7 years in prison when she is sentenced by Judge Case on February 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. 

DA Flynn commends the NYS Inspector General’s Office and the Erie County Department of Social Services for their outstanding investigative work. 

Assistant District Attorney Robin J. Deubler of the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Bureau prosecuted the case.