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Niagara Falls woman admits to stealing from deceased parents

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Posted at 1:20 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 13:20:21-04

A Niagara Falls woman admits she defrauded the Workers' Compensation system by forging her recently deceased mother's signature to get her deceased stepfather's death benefits.

58-year-old Virginia Donahue pleaded guilty Wednesday to Attempted Petit Larceny and paid full restitution.

An investigation by the New York State Inspector General found Donahue's mother began receiving her deceased husband's benefits after his death in 1997. Under state law, if a covered worker dies from a compensable injury, the surviving spouse and/or other dependents are entitled to weekly cash benefits. Donahue was not a dependent of her mother's deceased husband.

The Inspector General's Office says when Donahue's mother passed away in October 2014, the Worker's Compensation checks the mother had been receiving kept coming. Between November of 2014 and January of 2015, investigators found Donahue forged her deceased mother's name on the biweekly checks and deposited them into her own account.

In total, the Inspector General's Office found Donahue stole $1,113.80 in benefits she was not entitled to.