Schenectady County District Attorney Robert M. Carney announced that a Schenectady County Grand Jury has indicted Barbara J. Waters, a Glenville resident, on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees and Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree, which are Class C, D, and E felonies, respectively. Ms. Waters was arraigned on April 13, 2022 in Schenectady County Court by Acting Schenectady County Court Judge Mark J. Caruso.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and, as such, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
It is alleged that in March 2019, the defendant stole more than $82,000 in insurance benefits intended for the Schenectady County Department of Social Services. The defendant was a Power of Attorney for her now-deceased adoptive mother, whose sole substantial asset was an annuity contract. In March 2017, the adoptive mother designated Schenectady County as the sole beneficiary of the annuity so that she could qualify for and obtain public assistance to live in a nursing home. The adoptive mother passed away in March 2019. Hours after her passing, the defendant, purporting to act as her Power of Attorney, contacted the insurance company and requested that the annuity contract be liquidated so that the investment could be placed with a different company—without disclosing the mother’s death. Powers of Attorney are terminated upon the death of the person granting the Power of Attorney. The proceeds of the annuity contract were then deposited into the deceased mother’s bank account and then promptly transferred to the defendant’s account, again under the guise of Power of Attorney. The defendant thereafter depleted the money through numerous personal expenses and cash withdrawal transactions. The defendant subsequently failed to report and pay income tax on the ill-gotten gains through her fraudulent scheme.
District Attorney Carney stated, “It is a crime to use a Power of Attorney to enrich oneself as we allege Ms. Waters did here, and a Power of Attorney lapses upon the death of the principal. The $82,000 annuity cash value belonged contractually to Schenectady County; it was not her private piggy bank.”
The case was investigated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and Department of Taxation and Finance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney William Lemon, the defendant is represented by attorney John DellaRatta. For further information, contact ADA Lemon at 518-388-4364.