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Home health aide pleads guilty in welfare fraud case

A Buffalo home healthcare aide who fraudulently obtained nearly $11,000 in food stamps along with $40,500 in Medicaid benefits pleaded guilty Thursday to welfare fraud, officials said.

Suzanne Smith, 50, of Athol Street, was one of three women charged with fraudulently receiving more than $107,000 in welfare benefits while together earning more than $500,000 in income as aides for an elderly woman in West Seneca, according to an announcement from State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Smith's guilty plea happened Thursday in Erie County Court, officials said.

Michelle Dudek, 30, of Abbott Road, and Kelly Foss, 44, of Peters Corners Road in Alden, are each charged with grand larceny and welfare fraud, according to Scott and Flynn. Each was also charged with offering a false instrument for filing, the officials said.

The three were childhood acquaintances, officials said.

Smith is set to be sentenced Feb. 8.

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