New York Woman Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements, Faces Additional Fraud Charges

Date: 
Monday, March 20, 2017
Office Affiliation: 

From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York:

 

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Bobbi A. Constantine, formerly Robert Bove, age 49, of Albany, New York, pled guilty today to making false statements in connection with a federal employment application. Constantine also appeared today on a new criminal complaint charging her with wire fraud and Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fraud.

 

The announcements were made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Inspector in Charge Shelly A. Binkowski, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Boston Division; and Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Area for the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General (USPS-OIG).

 

As part of her guilty plea in the false statements case, Constantine admitted that, in May 2016, she submitted an application for employment to the United States Postal Service in Troy, New York. That application contained two false statements: (1) that she had never been convicted of a crime and (2) that she was employed from September 2000 to “present” as an administrative assistant. In fact, Constantine had multiple criminal convictions, and was not continuously employed during that time.

 

Constantine, who has been detained since her September 2016 arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior United States Judge Thomas J. McAvoy on June 12, 2017. She faces up to 5 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

 

In the wire fraud and SSI fraud case, the complaint alleges that Constantine defrauded mortgage and automobile lenders by falsely portraying herself as the sole beneficiary of a trust with assets of more than $12 million. In February 2014, according to the complaint, she used fraudulent trust documents to, among other things, purchase a home in Albany, a condominium in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and two new vehicles. If convicted of wire fraud, Constantine would face up to 20 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.

 

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

 

The complaint also alleges that Constantine applied for SSI benefits in March 2014, claiming that she suffered from impairments, including deafness, that caused her to be unable to work. Constantine was awarded SSI benefits in May 2014. During a February 2015 continuing eligibility review, according to the complaint, Constantine claimed to have received no income since her initial May 2014 eligibility review, and failed to disclose that she had received numerous checks and wires totaling $40,000, into a trust account she concealed from the Social Security Administration. Had Constantine disclosed her resources, or her purchase of a second home in South Carolina, her SSI payments would have been reduced or terminated. If convicted of SSI fraud, Constantine would face up to 5 years in prison, a maximum $250,000 fine, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years.

 

These cases are being investigated by the USPIS, the USPS-OIG, the New York State Police, and the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, and are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.