Welfare fraud trial slated

JOHNSTOWN – A Broadalbin couple accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $44,000 in welfare benefits through Fulton County will go on trial Monday in County Court facing 13 counts.

Jury selection will begin at 9 a.m. at the courthouse before Judge Polly A. Hoye in the trial of Deborah Lux, 36, and Bryan Lux, 44, of Broadalbin.

Together, the Luxes face third-degree grand larceny and third-degree welfare fraud counts, as well as several first-degree offering a false instrument for filing counts. Separately, Deborah Lux is herself facing four of the first-degree offering a false instrument counts.

Fulton County 2nd Assistant District Attorney James Riley will prosecute the case.

Riley said Wednesday he expects the trial to last at least a couple days. He said this alleged welfare fraud case is among the most extensive he’s seen in Fulton County.

“This is a pretty big one,” Riley said. “They had a joint checking account and she had an individual account.”

Defense attorney Michael McDermott of Albany will represent the Lux couple.

The Luxes were arrested Sept. 28, 2012 after an investigations into welfare fraud by the Fulton County Department of Social Services Investigative Unit and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department.

They were each initially charged with first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree welfare fraud and third-degree grand larceny.

Authorities said the couple failed to report income on their applications for temporary assistance, Medicaid and food stamps. Investigators said the Luxes through welfare fraud received $13,465 in food stamp benefits, $29,586 in Medicaid benefits and $1,335 in Home Energy Assistance Program benefits from March 2009 to April 2012.

The defendants were also indicted by a county grand jury.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com