Exeter woman charged with welfare fraud
WILKES-BARRE — An Exeter woman was arraigned on a felony fraud charge Monday alleging she collected more than $4,200 in welfare benefits she was not entitled to get.
Laura A. Pomichter, 40, of 122 Rear Schooley Ave., is accused of collecting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in 2016 after failing to accurately report her household income.
According to the complaint, Pomichter completed a benefits review on Dec. 5, 2015, indicating she was unemployed and lived alone with her child. Based on Pomichter’s signed affidavit, she was allowed to continue collecting benefits, the charges say.
Pomichter completed another benefits review in May 2016 and had an interview with a caseworker in June 2016 — in both instances reporting she still lived alone with her child, the complaint says.
But then in December 2016, a caseworker got a tip about Pomichter’s case and referred it to the Office of State Inspector General. According to the complaint, investigators learned Pomichter had been living with James Biscotto, the father of her child and an employee of the Luzerne County Domestic Relations office.
Biscotto’s income put Pomichter’s household income above federal poverty guidelines and disqualified her from getting the benefits, the complaint says.
Throughout the 2016 calendar year, Pomichter collected $4,284 in benefits she did not qualify for, according to the charges.
Magisterial District Judge Thomas F. Malloy Sr. arraigned Pomichter on the charge Monday and released her on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing was set for April 30.