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Colonie Woman Changes Guilty Plea in Welfare Fraud Case

Meet the woman with the biggest balls of steel in the world!  This case has fascinated me from the get-go, and now it seems things are getting even more insane.

Photo by flickr user

For those of you who haven’t followed the story, I’ll give you a little background (you can also find the full story here).

Last year, Angela Lopez was arraigned in Colonie for filching almost $100K in Medicaid, food stamps, social security, and other welfare benefits from May ’05 through April ’09.  She got away with it by withholding under-the-table income and failing to report other property and assets owned by her family, some of which was in her children’s names.  Showing up to court with a Louis Vuitton handbag in a Lincoln Navigator really isn’t going to help your welfare case FYI.  And did I mention the part about her Colonie home appraised at $166K or that she owned a Jeep Cheroke, Dodge Ram pick-up, and a boat IN ADDITION to the Lincoln Navigator??

Now, there’s a new development in this saga.  Earlier this month, Lopez withdrew her guilty plea, and with it any chance of a reduced sentence, because she a) didn’t like her lawyer and b) didn’t want to go to jail.

This woman astounds me!  Chances are she canned her lawyer because he told her the truth about how screwed she was going to be.  There’s actual, physical, written proof in this case that she lied and deliberately failed to report income she earned on the side.  Unless she decides to splurge and hire attorney-turned-dark-magician Jose Baez, this woman is on a one-way path to incarceration.  It’s also interesting how one of the reasons she wrote to the judge explaining her wish to change plea is her desire to not be thrown in the can; I suppose an argument could be made for placing her under house-arrest, just as long as it was someone else’s house; maybe she could bunk with someone actually ON welfare to see how it feels for people who actually need/deserve it.

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