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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Government Funds

CONTACT:           Barbara Burns
PHONE:                (716) 843-5817
FAX:                       (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Bernice Robinson, 79, of Buffalo, N.Y., who was convicted of theft of public money, was sentenced to three years supervised release, by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $101,150.95. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Lynch, who handled the case, stated that between October 1998 and April 2011, the defendant fraudulently collected $101,150.95 in benefits from the Social Security Administration. Robinson began collecting Social Security benefits as a widow in 1992 following the death of her first husband. In 1998, using a false name and birth certificate, the defendant applied for and began to receive an additional set of supplemental benefits.

In March 2001, Robinson again began collecting widow benefits following the death of her second husband. In August 2010, the defendant began to receive social security retirement benefits using a false name and social security number.  

The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of the United States Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Edward J. Ryan.

Updated December 2, 2014