Niagara Falls woman admits to forging dead mother’s signature to get checks

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Officials say a Niagara Falls woman forged her dead mother’s signature to get benefit checks.

The stepfather of Virginia Donahue, 58, died in 1997 after a long-term work-related illness. After this, Donahue’s mother received bi-weekly Workers Compensation checks.

The mother received these checks for the rest of her life, eventually passing away in October of 2014. After her death, Donahue continued to illegally collect these checks, putting them in her own account for personal use.

This continued through January of the following year. She stole a grand total of $1,113 in benefits.

Donahue pleaded guilty to Attempted Petit Larceny and made full restitution.

“This defendant’s shameful fraud enabled her to steal benefits to which she was not entitled,” said New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott. “I will continue using the resources of my office to protect the benefits meant to help honest, hard-working New Yorkers.”

It is not clear when she will be sentenced. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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