Warren County

Police: Queensbury pair committed more than $70K in welfare fraud

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QUEENSBURY — A Queensbury couple illegally took more than $70,000 in welfare benefits over a five-year period, Warren County sheriff’s officials said.

Lauren A. Camarda, 30, and Justin A. Pfiitze, 32, both of 103 Alpine Ave., Queensbury, were arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree grand larceny, second-degree welfare fraud and fourth-degree conspiracy, felonies.

Camarda was also charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, officials said.

The two were arrested after a social services fraud investigation unit inquiry determined that Camarda had falsified Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program and Child Care Assistance Benefit applications, periodic reports and re-certification forms from May 2013 to October 2018, sheriff’s officials said.

She falsified them by failing to report and inaccurately reporting that Pfiitze was living in the home and considered a wage earner, officials said.

Omitting that information led to nearly $53,000 in child care benefits being paid that shouldn’t have been and more than $19,000 in food assistance that shouldn’t have been paid, officials said.

Investigators charged Pfiitze as he provided false information to social services on Camarda’s behalf, officials said.

Camarda and Pfiitze were arraigned and released to return to court later.

Warren County Department of Social Services Fraud Unit Investigator Barbara Meade and Sheriff’s Investigator Christopher Hatin handled the case.

 

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