Former Adult Protection Services Case Worker Sentenced for Directing Client Payments to Herself

Modified: April 28, 2021 2:07pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 45-year-old Tamara Ebo of Buffalo was sentenced this morning by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns to an indeterminate sentence of 1 – 3 years in prison.

The defendant, while employed as a case worker for Erie County Department of Social Services Adult Protection, embezzled approximately $42,574.16 from 14 clients between September 1, 2016 and June 30, 2019 through manipulating invoices, falsifying vendor transactions, and directing payments to herself.

The investigation began after the Erie County Department of Social Services received a call from an employee of a non-profit agency who reported several questionable transactions on the account of an individual who was being assisted by an adult protection case worker. The defendant was terminated from her position shortly thereafter.

Ebo pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (Class “D” felony), one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (Class “E” felony) and one count of Official Misconduct (Class “A” misdemeanor) on February 16, 2021. She pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charge.

At the time of her plea, Ebo signed a Confession of Judgement to repay $42,574.16. To date, the defendant has paid only $5,000.00 in restitution to Erie County.

“These services are designed to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable adults in our community. She misappropriated funds intended to provide housing, transportation, and other basic needs for clients, many of whom live below the poverty level. In addition to forging documents and fabricating invoices, Ms. Ebo violated the trust given to caseworkers by using her employment as a means to take advantage of the system and the people it serves to protect,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

DA Flynn commends Detective Deputy Dan Brinkeroff of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant Commissioner-Administration Gavin Kasper of Erie County Department of Social Services for their work in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Chief Candace K. Vogel of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit.