Williamstown woman must make restitution in welfare fraud case

Kelly M. Hartz, 47,  of Williamstown,  was sentenced Wednesday in Oswego County Court to five years probation upon her conviction for offering a false instrument for filing, first degree, a felony.

At a prior court appearance April 2, Hartz admitted 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. Deputies charged her with grand larceny third degree,  welfare fraud third degree and offering a false instrument for filing first degree, all felonies.

Investigators alleged 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 Judge James Metcalf, Acting Oswego County Court Judge, ordered Hartz to pay $9,597.18 in restitution to Oswego County DSS during 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 stated, “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.”

To report a suspected case of welfare or housing assistance fraud, contact the Oswego County Department of Social Services at 315-963-5281.


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