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Springville woman admits to defrauding welfare of nearly $18,000

A Springville woman Thursday admitted to illegally receiving nearly $18,000 in food stamps and Medicaid benefits and was found guilty of welfare fraud, a third-degree felony.

Rhonda Heinen told Erie County Court Judge Michael L. D’Amico that she lied about her income to receive the benefits because she was worried that her business wouldn’t succeed. She owns the Cleaning Pixies cleaning business in Hamburg. The total amount was $17,704. The fraud took place between May 2009 and October 2012.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 1.

The fraud was discovered through an anonymous tip to the Department of Social Services, according to the District Attorney’s Office.