GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Glenville woman has been indicted for allegedly stealing insurance benefits after the death of her adoptive mother. The Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office said Barbara Waters was arraigned on April 13.

In March 2019, Waters is accused of stealing more than $82,000 in insurance benefits intended for the Schenectady County Department of Social Services. The DA’s Office said Waters was the Power of Attorney for her now-deceased adoptive mother. Her only substantial asset was an annuity contract.

Officials said in March 2017, the mother designated Schenectady County as the sole beneficiary of the
annuity so that she could qualify for and get public assistance to live in a nursing home. She then passed away in March 2019.

According to the DA’s Office, hours after her passing, Waters, as 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. She did this without disclosing the mother’s death. Powers of Attorney are terminated once the person granting the power dies.

The money of the annuity contract was deposited into the deceased mother’s bank account and then transferred to Waters’ account. Officials said she then emptied the account through personal expenses and cash withdrawal transactions. The DA’s Office said she also failed to report and pay income tax on the money.

Charges

  • Grand larceny in the second degree (felony)
  • Grand larceny in the third degree (felony)
  • Criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree (felony)

“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,” said Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney.