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Press Release

Cohoes Woman Indicted for Social Security Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Donna M. Smith, age 56, of Cohoes, New York, was arraigned today on an indictment alleging that she concealed her employment from and made false statements to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to fraudulently obtain Disability Insurance Benefits.


The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and John F. Grasso, Special Agent-in-Charge of the SSA Office of the Inspector General, New York Field Office.


The indictment alleges that in 2006, Smith began to collect Disability Insurance Benefits, designed to replace, in part, the loss of income due to a disability.  But Smith continued to work, for eight different Capital District employers, between 2006 and 2015, all while receiving benefits.  The indictment further alleges that in 2012 and 2015, Smith submitted false statements to the SSA claiming that she did not work. 


The charges in the indictment are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Smith faces up to 5 years in prison, up to 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted on all counts of the indictment.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.


Smith was arraigned today in Albany before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel.  She was released with conditions pending a trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn.


This case is being investigated by the SSA Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason W. White.

Updated October 28, 2016