Warren County Couple Charged with $70,000 Welfare Fraud

QUEENSBURY — A Queensbury couple was arrested Wednesday on welfare charges for allegedly receiving more than $70,000 in improper welfare benefits during the five-year period, according to police.

Lauren A. Camarda, 30, and 32-year-old Justin A. Pfittze, both of 103 Alpine Ave., are accused of failing to accurately report that Pfittze was living in the home and considered a wage earner, according to a news release from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

That resulted in an overpayment of $52,946.77 in Child Care Assistance benefits and $19,119 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, police said.The investigation detailed the alleged fraud occurred from May 2013 through October 2018 and was brought to the attention of authorities by the Department of Social Services Fraud Investigation Unit.

Both were charged with three felony counts of second-degree grand larceny, second-degree welfare fraud and fourth-degree conspiracy. In addition to the above charges, Camarda was also charged with felony first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, police said.Both were processed and arraigned in the Town of Queensbury Court and released on their own recognizance.Warren County Department of Social Services Fraud Unit Investigator Barbara Meade and Sheriff’s Investigator Christopher Hatin handled the case.

Hudson Valley Welfare Fraud Task Force Arrest Six

On Friday, the Sullivan County Welfare Fraud Task Force announced the following arrests:

Kimberly S. Hardenburgh, 37, of Narrowsburg was charged with grand larceny. It’s alleged she stole $5,565.12 in public-funded transportation by using Medicaid medical transportation for non-medical purposes.

Shiloh J. Utter, 34, of Bloomingburg is accused of stealing $493.83 in food stamp benefits that she was not eligible for or entitled to by using a New York State EBT card that did not belong to her. She was charged with grand larceny and misuse of food stamps.

Samuel L. Horace, 50, of Monticello was arrested for grand larceny. It’s alleged he stole $1,584.60 in public-funded transportation by using Medicaid medical transportation for non-medical purposes.

David A. McCollum, 55, of Liberty was charged with grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. He stole $1,397.28 in public-funded transportation by using Medicaid medical transportation as transportation to attend his New York State parole meetings, police say.

Alan J. Yeneic of Parksville allegedly stole $678.20 in public-funded transportation by using Medicaid medical transportation to attend his Sullivan County Probation meetings. He was charged with offering a false instrument for filing and theft of service.

Jane E. Fredericks of Lumberland was arrested for grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. It’s alleged Fredericks stole $1,854 in SNAP benefits and $701 in HEAP benefits by failing to disclose household income.

Rensselaer County – More than a dozen arrested in welfare fraud sweep

TROY, N.Y. — Rensselaer County officials announced a sweeping welfare fraud investigation, which includes charges against 26 people accused of welfare fraud and resulting in the arrest of 19.
The investigation carried out by county, state, and local law enforcement sought to crackdown on what according to Rensselaer County Social Services Commissioner Theresa Beaudoin, is the theft of nearly $56,000 in funds taken from the Rensselaer County Department of Social Services.
The latest roundup and higher percentage in arrests come after an Oct. 2018 sting which netted charges to 39 people, arrests of 27 and the recouping of approximately $100,000 in funds.
“I applaud the efforts of all involved in the crackdown on welfare fraud. My office always stands at the ready to prevent this type of abuse of the system,” Rensselaer County Sheriff Pat Russo said of his ongoing support of county fraud sweeps.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin stressed the importance of protecting taxpayers and the social safety net system for those who are truly in need of help.
“County services are essential in our communities with the goal to provide a path to a better life to those in need. These arrests prove that in Rensselaer County we are focused on ensuring public monies go to the deserving, not those who seek to abuse the system for their own personal gain,” McLaughlin said.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly also echoed the sentiment of Russo and McLaughlin, in maintaining an honest system.
“I want to thank everyone involved for the hard work that was done in exposing these alleged criminal activities. Our office will work closely with all our partners in the county in seeking to eradicate welfare fraud,” Donnelly said.
Those arrested include:
• Roderick Edmunson, 06/17/1973: Troy, NY, charged with first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance.
• Katrina Rivera, 09/06/1981: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree felony welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connecting with the theft of $2,622.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Tiffany R. Franklin, 08/26/1971: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree felony welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $1,593.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Takeah Harris, 07/12/1983: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree felony welfare fraud, fourth-degree felony grand larceny and first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance in connection with the theft of $8,389.52 in medical assistance benefits.
• Tiffany Smith, 08/08/1989: Troy, NY, charged with third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree felony grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing in connection with the theft of $4,066.50 in public assistance benefits.
• Raheem Shabezz, 09/22/1953: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $2,922.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Lori Emery, 02/25/1967: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $1,412.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Robert Simpson, 08/31/1970: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $2,743.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Shameia Hall, 01/13/1992: Troy, NY, charged with first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance.
• Mercedes Thomas, 12/12/1991 and Alexander Girgenti, 11/16/1989: Nassau, NY, charged with third-degree welfare fraud and third-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $4,729.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Rebecca Grogan, 06/12/1976: Mechanicville, NY, charged with first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance.
• Angeline Dugan, 12/24/1988: Rensselaer, NY, charged with first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance.
• Jessica Kelly, 08/04/1987: Troy, NY, charged with fourth-degree felony welfare fraud and fourth-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $2,865.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Steven Williams, 09/03/1971: Troy, NY, charged with misdemeanor misuse of food stamps.
• Andrea Giles, 12/26/1983: Troy, NY, charged with third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree felony grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing in connection with the theft of $5,767.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Laalyce Johnson, 02/26/1978: Troy, NY, charged with first-degree felony offering a false instrument for filing to RCDSS to fraudulently obtain public assistance.
• Catrina Bunting, 02/06/1978: Troy, NY, charged with third-degree welfare fraud and third-degree felony grand larceny in connection with the theft of $3,620.00 in public assistance benefits.
• Alexander Cole: Troy, NY, charged with third-degree welfare fraud, third-degree felony grand larceny and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

Article Courtesy of Channel 13 News.