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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Former Social Services Worker Pleads Guilty To Lying To The FBI

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Rhonda Henderson, 48, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to making false statements to Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Tripi, who is handling the case, stated that on June 19, 2014, Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed the defendant during which interview Henderson stated that the title to a 1999 Honda two-door sedan had been mailed to her address. The vehicle actually belonged to Victim A, a disabled individual whom the defendant met through her employment at a local social services agency. The FBI was investigating mail fraud and whether or not Henderson engaged in a scheme to defraud Victim A of her vehicle by fraudulently obtaining a duplicate New York State Department of Motor Vehicles title.

During the course of the FBI interview, the defendant made materially false statements that:

• she did not take the title to the 1999 Honda Accord from Victim A without Victim A’s authorization;
• she had Victim A’s permission to forge Victim A’s name on the DMV form “Transfer of Vehicle Registered in Name of Deceased Person” dated December 13, 2013; and
• her supervisor at the agency knew of her dealings related to the December 13, 2013, vehicle transaction;
knowing that each statement was in fact false.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Division of Field Investigation, under the direction of Owen McShane, Director of Investigations. 

Sentencing is scheduled for September 10, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Vilardo.

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Updated May 2, 2019