Lockport woman who admitted stealing $100,000 from Planned Parenthood jailed on new charges - The Buffalo News
print logo

Lockport woman who admitted stealing $100,000 from Planned Parenthood jailed on new charges

Despite a number of convictions for theft, a Lockport woman doesn’t appear to be learning any lessons.

Melissa S. Kwoka, 44, of Corinthia Street, admitted in Erie County Court on July 24 that in her role as an accountant for Planned Parenthood of Western New York, she stole $102,733 between August 2012 and March 2013 by forging checks to herself and her husband.

Kwoka pleaded guilty to the top count of second-degree larceny and is expected to be sentenced Nov. 12.

But as she awaited sentencing, she was back before a judge in Lockport City Court on Wednesday, charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. She is accused of electronically transferring $520 from a Plank Road woman’s account in order to make a payment on her vehicle.

Lockport Police Detective Capt. Richard Podgers said when the victim, a friend of Kwoka’s, realized the money had been stolen, she contacted Kwoka by text and Kwoka confessed. Lockport detectives then questioned Kwoka and she signed a confession, Podgers said.

City Court Judge William Watson set bail at $1,000 and Kwoka was remanded to Niagara County Jail. She is due back in court Monday.

Kwoka already had three prior convictions for theft offenses when she pleaded guilty to pilfering from Planned Parenthood of Western New York.

In May 2002, she admitted to stealing from the City of Lockport Building Inspection Department where she worked as a secretary for a little more than a year.

She was accused of taking $212 from the department and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted petit larceny. She was fired after a brief suspension by then-Mayor Thomas C. Sullivan.

When she comes back to Erie County to be sentenced Nov. 12, she will face a maximum prison term of five to 15 years, according to Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment