Exeter woman charged with welfare fraud

By Ed Lewis - elewis@timesleader.com
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WILKES-BARRE — A woman from Exeter was arraigned Monday on charges she received more than $4,200 in public assistance to which she was not entitled due to household income from a Luzerne County employee.

Laura A. Pomichter, 40, of Schooley Avenue, surrendered at the office of District Judge Thomas Malloy in Wilkes-Barre on a single count of false statements. She was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

According to the criminal complaint filed by the state Office of Inspector General:

Pomichter reported on a benefits review form to receive government assistance in December 2015 that she was not employed and resided alone with her child. She signed the review form and benefits continued.

Pomichter completed another benefits review form in May 2016 and had a telephone interview with a state caseworker on June 2016, indicating no changes to her household that included herself and her child.

A state caseworker received a tip regarding Pomichter’s household in December 2016. The tip was referred to the state Office of Inspector General for an investigation that allegedly revealed Pomichter resided with James Biscotto, father of the child. Biscotto, who is employed at the Luzerne County Domestic Relations Office, is a permanent household member, the complaint says.

The complaint alleges Pomichter fraudulently obtained supplemental nutrition assistance benefits for 2016 in the amount of $4,284 by failing to report Biscotto’s income.

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By Ed Lewis

elewis@timesleader.com