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NF woman pleads guilty to stealing by fraud

A Niagara Falls woman has pleaded guilty to forging her mother's signature in order to get her deceased stepfather's death benefits.

Authorities say 58-year-old Virginia Donahue entered her plea in Niagara Falls City Court to a charge of attempted petit larceny. She also paid back restitution of $1,113.80.

An investigation by the State Inspector General's Office found Donahue's mother began receiving benefits after her husband's death in 1997, due to his death from a long-term work-related illness. When Donahue's mother died in October of 2014, Donahue forged her mother's signature on Worker's Compensation checks from November 2014 to January of 2015.

Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York Special Funds Conservation Committee for their assistance with the investigation, the New York State Police for the arrest and the Niagara County District Attorney's Office for prosecuting this matter.

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