New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the guilty plea of a Williamsville woman who stole $37,249 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by underreporting her income and submitting forged paystubs.
Thomasina Sardina, 47, of Williamsville, pleaded guilty in Erie County Court before Justice Kenneth Case to Welfare Fraud in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor. As part of her plea, Sardina will pay full restitution in the amount of $37,249 and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.
The Inspector General found that between February 2012 and July 2015, Sardina falsified her SNAP benefit applications by failing to report her employment income and later underreporting her income. Specifically, Sardina concealed her earnings as a patient service representative for a local healthcare provider and submitted forged paystubs in support of applications for SNAP benefits. Sardina would not have qualified for the SNAP benefits had she accurately reported her income.
“This individual deliberately hid her income in order to illegally capitalize on SNAP benefits,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “Thankfully, her fraud was discovered and she is paying full restitution.”
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the Erie County Department of Social Services for its partnership in the investigation and Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn and his office for prosecuting the matter.