WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- A West Seneca woman won't spend any time in prison for collecting Buffalo fire department pension checks addressed to her dead mother for 33 years.

Pearlann MacVittie, 73, was sentenced to 5 years of probation Thursday for taking more than $290,000 in taxpayer money after her mother died in 1983. MacVittie says she was using the money to pay medical bills.

In addition to 5 years probation, MacVittie will have to perform 300 hours of community service, under the sentence from Erie County Judge Kenneth Case.

"From the day her mother died, Pearlann MacVittie tarnished her memory by stealing $291,070 in pension checks in her mother's name from the city of Buffalo's Firemen's Pension Fund," said State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a statement. "I thank my auditors and investigators for uncovering this brazen scam against the city and its taxpayers."