Submitted by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced 31-year-old Danielle K. Bush of the Town of Tonawanda was sentenced yesterday afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case to 2½ to 5 years in prison.
The defendant admitted to stealing gaming tickets and placing fraudulent bets while working as a server at a restaurant on Lake Shore Road in the Town of Hamburg. Between June 2, 2019, and Feb. 8, 2020, the defendant stole tickets while processing bets placed by customers for a number of games of chance, including Quick Draw, Mega Millions and Power Ball. The defendant’s actions resulted in an estimated total loss of approximately $50,000 to the restaurant.
The theft was discovered after the restaurant owner conducted an internal audit of monthly billing statements from the New York State Gaming Commission in February 2020. The statements revealed abnormally high gaming activity, unusual betting amounts and unique betting patterns, which corresponded with the defendant’s work schedule. The crime was further corroborated by video evidence. The defendant was subsequently fired from her job.
On June 9, 2022, Bush pleaded guilty, as charged, to one count of grand larceny in the third degree (class “D” felony). As part of her guilty plea, Bush signed confessions of judgment to pay full restitution. To date, she has paid no restitution to the owner of the restaurant.
Our office previously announced that the defendant was accused of committing another crime while pending sentence in this case. In March 2023, Bush was arraigned before Judge Case, acting as a Buffalo City Court judge, on one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (class “E” felony).
It is alleged that, on Feb. 7, 2023, the defendant, knowingly with the intent to defraud, submitted a written instrument containing false information to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office. The defendant allegedly presented falsified medical records, purported to show a cancer diagnosis, through her defense attorney three days before she was scheduled to be sentenced in another criminal case. An investigation by our office found that the medical provider, listed in the falsified documents, had no record of the defendant as a patient.
Our office agreed to dismiss the charge related to the allegedly falsified documents in exchange for the court to impose a lengthier sentence of imprisonment on the grand larceny conviction.
DA Flynn commends Det. Howard Widman and Det. Scott Fraser of the Town of Hamburg Police Department for their work in this investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Jurusik from the special investigations and prosecutions (SIP) bureau.