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Williamstown Woman Sentenced For Welfare Fraud

OSWEGO, NY – On Wednesday (May 28), Kelly M. Hartz, 47, of Williamstown, appeared in Oswego County Court, where she was sentenced to five years probation upon her conviction for Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E Felony.

At a prior appearance on April 2, Hartz admitted that she provided a written instrument that contained a false statement or false information to the Oswego County Department of Social Services for the purpose of defrauding DSS.

Hartz was arrested by the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department on April 29, 2013, as a result of an investigation by the fraud unit within Oswego County DSS.

The Sheriff’s Department charged her with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

Investigators alleged that she failed to disclose information and thereby wrongfully obtained $9,597.18 in Medicaid benefits that she was not entitled to receive.

As part of her sentence, the Hon. James Metcalf, Acting Oswego County Court Judge, ordered Hartz to pay $9,597.18 in restitution to Oswego County DSS over the next five years.

If Hartz fails to pay back the restitution, or if she violates any other terms of probation, she faces up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

District Attorney Gregory Oakes said, “Over the past two years, my office has worked with DSS and the Sheriff’s Department to crack down on welfare fraud.  Those who abuse and cheat the system need to be held accountable. Welfare fraud is theft, plain and simple, and my office will continue to prosecute those who steal from taxpayers.”