Bindra Boodhwa neglected to mention the father of her three children was helping to support her family.
Later, when she was under investigation for welfare fraud, the 50-year-old city woman flatly denied the man was living at her Congress Street residence. Even when she was summoned to appear before a grand jury, Boodhwa denied ever receiving any support from the man, even though her testimony was contradicted by the overwhelming evidence, prosecutors said. Among other things, authorities secured government documentation, direct witnesses and investigative surveillance supporting their case against Boodhwa, who was accused of illegally taking $35,278 in welfare benefits between January 2008 and July 2012.
On Monday, she admitted to counts of third-degree welfare fraud and first-degree perjury in connection with a scheme to consistently provide false information to the Schenectady County Department of Social Services in order to receive welfare benefits.
Boodhwa changed her plea as the case was set for trial Monday morning. As a result, Boodhwa is expected to be sentenced to a year in jail, be disqualified from food stamps for one year from the time she first becomes eligible again and owe a $35,278 civil judgment to social services.
The 30-count indictment filed against Boodhwa in February claims she repeatedly and intentionally misrepresented her household composition and financial resources by failing to report the children’s father was living with her and providing financial support. She also falsified rental receipts to make it appear she had been paying rent, thereby allowing her to receive $25,079 in food stamps and $10,199 in Medicaid benefits.
“When people like Ms. Boodhwa scam public assistance monies, they raise the cost of these programs and hurt our ability to help the truly needy,” Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said in a statement. “In addition, her casual willingness to commit perjury when confronted with the evidence of her fraud was quite shocking.”
She is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 13.