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Woman gets probation in welfare fraud case

By Howard B. Owens

A 25-year-old Le Roy resident who admitted to cheating the system out of $10,437 in public assistance and food stamps was sentenced in County Court today to five years probation. 

Jessica Horton was also ordered to pay back the money obtained under false pretenses.

Horton was accused in August of filing documents with the Department of Social Services claiming that her two children were living with her when they were not.

She entered a guilty plea Oct. 29 to one count of offering a false instrument for filing in satisfaction of the counts she was originally arrested on, which included seven counts of offering a false Instrument for filing, 1st, and one count of grand larceny, 3rd.

As a term of the plea deal, Horton is permanently disqualified from receiving financial aid through the Temporary Assistance or SNAP programs.

To report suspected welfare fraud, call DSS's Fraud Investigation Unit at (585) 344-2580, ext. 6417 or 6416. All calls are confidential.

Dan Robinson

Probation seems like a slap on the wrist for stealing over 10k from the tax payers. We already pay too much in taxes and then you have thieves like this. The punishments should be much stiffer to discourage people from doing it.

Jan 6, 2016, 7:35pm Permalink
david spaulding

somebody cheated the system with the yogurt factory and cheated the system with loew's, however unlike this lady they walked away without any charges. The people in charge of the yogurt and lowe's money also walked away to the next meeting to only give away more money. How can steve and his cronies make deals with taxpayer money that only the taxpayer has to live up to? million here million there says steve as he wipes the drool from his face. ought to be ashamed and fired. With taxpayer representatives like this guy, we'll be broke and calling Albany in no time. I believe the kids in high school could do a better job than these _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. < you fill in the blank.

Jan 6, 2016, 8:15pm Permalink
Dan Robinson

Well that went a little sideways.......

I do agree something should be done about the yougart plant money. There needs to be better checks and balances there as well.

Jan 6, 2016, 8:48pm Permalink
Timothy Hens

Still trying to figure out how we lost money on Mueller-Quaker and Lowes. How do you lose something you never had? Genesee County gave a tax abatement. That means we gave up collecting a portion of the taxes that would have been collected on the value of the project. If the project never came, we'd be just where we were. Nothing lost.

So the county gave up a portion of the taxes on a $250 million development and the project went belly up. I know people lost jobs and that truly sucks, but strictly in terms of taxes for this discussion--there is now a building with a HUGE assessed value that will be taken over by someone else and will eventually be fully on the tax rolls and eventually make a significant dent in the total county assessment and keep the tax rates in check or possibly lowered. How many houses do we need to tax to equal the assessed value of just the Yogurt Plant? The capital investment piece is HUGE. So someone please explain how the county lost money? Even in the case where these projects go under--we are still ahead.

Now there can be a separate argument as to whether billion dollar companies need tax abatements in the first place. From a principal standpoint, no they absolutely don't. They can afford to build a $250 million plant, and pay their CEO $50 million/yr then they can afford a few million in taxes.

But guess what, the rest of the WORLD is offering incentives out the whazoo!! Not to mention that NY in general is not real business friendly anyway. If we don't play along, Genesee County and the rest of District 12 will continue to rust away into economic purgatory.

How else does anyone here suggest we bring economic development to Genesee County?? Companies are not going to come because its such a quaint little place. Its all about the Benjamins. I always hear pot shots at GCEDC, but never hear any solutions. Any real practical suggestions on how to shrink our property taxes and make our area business friendly?? And I am talking meaningful cuts, not $200,000 here and $100,000 there. You need to make DOUBLE DIGIT, MULTI-MILLION dollar cuts year after year to have any type of impact. 90% of what is collected through property taxes is mandated and required by New York State. Local governments and school boards have almost zero say over these expenses. What service would you be willing to give up? Would you close your school and merge with another? Should we close the county park? Do we eliminate the Sheriff's road patrols? What about Village Police or Villages in general? Seems like anytime someone wants to cut the school band, people freak out. Every time a Village comes up for dissolution, it gets voted down. Same thing with school mergers.

So again, I ask--how do we compete in a global economy full of incentives if we have the highest tax rates in the nation and we don't offer incentives?

Jan 6, 2016, 10:09pm Permalink
tom hunt

If a harsher sentence was given, how would this woman pay back the $10K she owes the taxpayers? Sitting in a jail cell at taxpayers expense is very non productive Maybe she will get a job and start paying back what she owes.

Jan 7, 2016, 3:04am Permalink

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