DA: Glenville woman indicted on in $82K insurance benefit theft in power of attorney scheme

Barbara J. Waters - Credit: Schenectady County District Attorney's Office

Barbara J. Waters - Credit: Schenectady County District Attorney's Office

GLENVILLE A Glenville woman has been indicted in connection with an $82,000 scheme to take money from Schenectady County following the death of her adoptive mother, Schenectady County District Attorney’s officials said.

Barbara J. Waters, of Glenville, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second- and third-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal tax fraud, felonies.

She is accused of taking $82,000 in insurance benefits that had been designated to Schenectady County and pocketing the funds after her adoptive mother’s death in March 2019, officials said.

Waters had been power of attorney for her adoptive mother and her adoptive mother’s sole substantial asset was an annuity contract, prosecutors said.

Two years before her death, Waters’ adoptive mother designated Schenectady County as the sole beneficiary of the annuity in order to qualify to obtain public assistance to live in a nursing home, prosecutors said.

Waters’ adoptive mother then passed away in March 2019 and, hours later, Waters, purporting to act as her late adoptive mother’s power of attorney, contacted the insurance company and requested it be liquidated, supposedly to place it with a different company, prosecutors said. Waters did so without disclosing her adoptive mother’s death, prosecutors said.

The money transferred to her adoptive mother’s account, Waters then transferred it to her own account, as supposed power of attorney, prosecutors said.

Power of attorney ends at someone’s death, prosecutors said.

Waters then depleted the money through personal expenses and cash withdrawals, prosecutors said.

“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,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said in a statement. “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.

Assistant District Attorney William Lemon is prosecuting. Waters is represented by attorney John Della Ratta.

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