WNY contractor and wife charged with welfare fraud


A home improvement contractor known for scamming customers for more than 20 years is in trouble with the law again, this time he is accused of welfare fraud.

Edward Kwiatkwoski, 77 and his wife Sheila, 57, were arrested at their place of business in Cuba, N.Y. and charged with fraudulently collecting benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

The couple is also accused of selling firewood to low-income customers at their business, JR Contracting and Handyman Services, keeping the money without delivering the goods.

State Welfare Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott said the Kwiatkowskis collected $8,800 in SNAP and HEAP benefits, while amassing a combined income of $350,000 over a five-year period.

“While he was fraudulently enriching himself with taxpayer-funded welfare benefits, he had the unmitigated gall to also take heating fuel funds from individuals, in desperate need of public assistance, without ever providing the fuel.”

Edward Kwiatkowski formerly owned and operated another home improvement company called Skyline Builders of Elma. In 2001, Kwiatkowski and one of his sons were prosecuted by the New York Attorney General for stealing from customers, and were sentenced to jail.

The State Attorney General is also receiving consumer complaints against Edward Kwiatkowski and his business, JR Contracting and Hamdyman Services. If you believe you have been scammed, you can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 853-8404.

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